Will Allen says Cowboys atmosphere keeps Dallas from reaching potential

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The Dallas Cowboys always have lofty expectations placed on their shoulders every September when the NFL season begins.

The Cowboys franchise is one of the most prominent in the league and Jerry Jones is the league’s most visible and vocal owner. Championships are the expectation. Anything else is usually met with disappointment.

As such, the Cowboys have been incredibly disappointing for most of the last two decades. Dallas has just two playoff victories since winning Super Bowl XXX in January, 1996.

Safety Will Allen signed with the Cowboys this offseason and played the first five games of the season for Dallas before being released in October. The 10-year veteran of the Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers joined Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL radio Tuesday and said he believes the atmosphere around the Cowboys makes winning incredibly difficult.

“It was a very micro-managed atmosphere. Everything was heightened. Everything was very hyped. I didn’t feel the relationship and the bonding between players and coaches,” Allen said. “…I think that’s the rift that you get and everybody wonders why Dallas can’t win; why Dallas isn’t completing everything it needs to. The players are great. The players are tremendous. The coaches are some of the best in the business. You just need a cohesion there that allows players and coaches to really execute and do their jobs and it’s not something hanging over their heads.”

Allen said he felt like there was a constant weight on all the players and coaches in Dallas that making a mistake would get you benched or cut. He feels that pressure can have a negative impact on the team

“That’s not fun for anybody,” Allen said. “…We understand that it’s a business but football is a business. Winning is our business. But if we’re not a team, if we’re not together in it all, then we have nothing.”

Allen said the environment is different in Pittsburgh and he believes their approach is better suited to getting the most of their players. Allen re-signed with the Steelers after being released by Dallas and has 11 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in six games for Pittsburgh.

31 responses to “Will Allen says Cowboys atmosphere keeps Dallas from reaching potential

  1. As a Giants fan, I hope Jerrah never realizes he has no idea what the hell he is doing. Based on how arrogant he is, I don’t think there is much to worry about. It is no coincidence that the teams winning Super Bowls have strong/stable ownership that delegate personnel decisions to an experienced/trusted front office staff. If Dallas keeps running things the way they are, they will never return to their 90’s glory days.

  2. Low blow Will, everyone and their mothers know about the Cowboys mediocrity. You could have been a man and state the real problem is Jerry Jones. Your tackling skills resemble that of our UNDRAFTED rookie safety’s…

  3. That’s incredibly funny, Will. Pittsburgh is getting the most out of their players.
    Even Dallas looks pretty good good next to the debacle called the 2013 Steelers.

  4. Wait. I thought the knock on the Cowboys was that it was a country club atmosphere that was holding them back. Now it’s all of a sudden cutthroat and everybody is scared for their job?

  5. Micro-managed… sums it up pretty nicely. Just like Al Davis with the Raiders, JJ with the Cowboys is part of the problem, not the solution. I have no issue with JJ wanting his team to have lofty expectations, but he needs to get out of the way of his Coaches and players and let them play football.

    Never going to happen though – after all this is the guy who ran off Jimmie Johnson because he was getting too much of the glory while Jerry felt he was getting no credit for that 90’s dynasty.

  6. Micro-managed atmosphere? Really? In Dallas? With Jerry Jones? No way, I don’t believe it….

  7. When Allen was in Dallas he was so bad that he got beat out by two rookies, who make LOTS of mistakes. It sounds like sour grapes to me.

  8. As for pittsburgh…. we all know having a team doctor (dr. rydze) who is investigated and indicted for illegal distribution of human growth hormone and anabolic steroids had something to do with their “success” and nothing says “success” more than a 4-6 record.


  9. The reason Dallas Dallas doesn’t win is because the place little emphasis on the offensive and defensive line where games are won and lost. The money goes to the flashy players who have “all that talent”.

  10. bats13 says:
    Nov 20, 2013 6:07 AM
    It all starts at the top. Bring in Jon Gruden as HC and let him do his thing.


    If it all starts at the top, how is bringing in Chucky going to help with the same Owner / GM still in place?

  11. Lets compare conf champ games for these two proud franchises The last 20 years.


    92, 93, 93, 95 – NFC Conf Champ appearance

    Black & Gold

    94, 95, 97, 01, 04, 05, 08, 10 – AFC Conf Champ Game appearance

    Common denominator – JJ v. Rooneys – not even close.

    A once proud franchise no more!

  12. When did it come about having more wins than the Steelers in a single season?

    To paraphrase a wise Jedi master: that is why the boys fail . . .


    Well, it use to be in Dallas anyway that way!

  13. Here’s the part that confuses me:

    “Allen said he felt like there was a constant weight on all the players and coaches in Dallas that making a mistake would get you benched or cut. He feels that pressure can have a negative impact on the team.”

    Wasn’t Jimmy Johnson known for that kind of thing regarding personnel?

    It seemed to work for him.

    There’s a ton of things wrong in Dallas, just not sure players who don’t perform having a fear of being cut is one of them.

  14. Jones is a terrible GM, but his real failing is voicing his high expectations and playing up his teams ability. His public displays of optimism creates that sense of entitlement and then the pressure when it doesn’t happen. He needs to just stop talking to the press.

    Shut up and empower your coaches and scouts to make the right decisions without your ego hanging over them.

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