As Jerry Jones tries to build a consistent winner, he has taken the position that it’s harder to consistently win than ever before.
“The first night I got a chance to talk about being the new owner of the Cowboys, I said, ‘We’ve got to win, winning is the name of the game,'” Jones said during his weekly Friday appearance on 105.3 The Fan Dallas/Ft. Worth, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “That’s really what it’s all about at the end of the day, winning the football game. It never occurred to me that we would have the challenges that we have, winning the football games. I didn’t anticipate this league that we’re in. I’m not critical of it, but boy, is it a balanced league.”
In a roundabout way, Jones is saying it wasn’t quite so hard when former coach Jimmy Johnson built a team that won three Super Bowls in four years, the third of which came with Barry Switzer as the head coach. While it may not have been any easier back then to build a championship team, it was a lot easier to keep a championship team together before free agency got rolling in 1994. Marginal contributors and role players on glory teams always before more attractive to other teams, even if other teams are merely hoping to weaken a glory team.
Free agency and the salary cap have smoothed out the talent in the NFL, closing the gap between the best and worst teams and allowing teams to get better as a given season goes on. Teams consistently get hot late in the year, sneak into the playoffs with a so-so record, and make noise in January.
“When you’re sitting here seeing the teams that are about where we are at 50-50 in that range, and you see the teams that right today could easily be the world champions that have records like that, then you realize how competitive it is,” Jones said.
Those remarks reconfirm his belief that his team can be the team that becomes the team in January.
First, his team has to get to January. And that’s something his team hasn’t been able to do since 2009.