NEWSFLASH: COWBOYS AREN'T CONTENDERS

By mark rogers
October 4, 2009

Guess this really isn't breaking news.

This is something that I've come to realize over the last two weeks (or three games).

The Cowboys don't have what it takes to win an NFL Championship.

And it's not the personnel. Our players are extremely talented...above average at nearly every position.

It's not our scheme. Jason Garrett is a fine offensive play-caller. Wade Phillips always puts together a good defensive game plan. Our players are usually in good position to win games.

It's our attitude. Plain and simple. The Cowboys players who have the task of leading this team to a championship simply don't know what it takes to win it all. They don't care.

I'm talking about the players in leadership positions: Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Andre Gurode, Marion Barber, Flozell Adams, Demarcus Ware, Terrence Newman, Marcus Spears.

Now, I'm not saying our players don't care about the team, the coaches or the season. They put in the work in the offseason. They go through a grueling training camp. They watch film and practice every day. They care in the sense that this is what they do for a living. They care about their teammates a great deal.

But they don't care they way you're supposed to care if you want to win it all and go down in history as one of the all-time great teams.

And all the players I've listed are great players. Great players. And I'm not saying they don't deserve to win or they don't work hard or they slack off or anything like that.

But if you go down the line, each and every one of those guys are low-key, mostly quiet guys.

Barber may go crazy after big runs, but if that guy wasn't an NFL running back, he'd be working the night shift at the graveyard. Ever wonder why you never see him doing any interviews for the cameras? It's because he never does interviews...he's just a shy guy. You get the sense that he absolutely hates being around people. Trust me, I've seen him on the field and in the locker room after games.

And there's nothing wrong with that...nothing.

Witten's a pretty quiet, down-to-earth guy, too. Romo's the same. DeMarcus Ware isn't an in-your-face, talk-trash kind of guy. Neither is Roy Williams for that matter.

And all those guys are great people. They work hard. They play hard. They're good players.

You just can't have a team made up entirely of guys like that and expect to win championships. Period.

We don't have a Michael Irvin or Emmitt Smith personality.

We don't have a Ben Roethlisberger.

We don't have a Tom Brady or a Randy Moss.

We don't have a Brett Favre or Reggie White.

There's no one on our team like John Elway or Jerry Rice.

You can match up our players' stats and accomplishments with those guys at similar points in their careers. You can argue numbers and tangibles all day. I get it.

But the thing that we don't have is the thing that each of those guys had that you can't define.

It was their swagger, their confidence, their "I'm going to beat you today and there's nothing you can do to stop me and I'll yell it in your face while I'm doing it" attitude.

It's what people call having "it". Other people refer to it as intangibles...things you can't measure.

You could take 97% of our team and build a champion. We have great players. The only problem is...none of them have "it".

Our head coach is the same way. And you know what? Maybe that's OK in the grand scheme of things. All those guys know that there are more important things in life than football. I get that, too. And I agree.

But the ones who separate themselves in the NFL...the ones who end up in the Hall of Fame...the ones who up-and-coming stars will be compared to for all time don't have that perspective.

To them, winning a championship is the most important thing in life. They're the kinds of guys that you absolutely HATE if they don't play for you. You know, Bruce Bowen, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Rodney Harrison, Larry Bird, Ray Lewis or Bill Laimbeer. You know what all those guys have in common? Right...

Not always a good perspective...but it'll win you titles if you combine it with raw talent, hard work and good, solid management.

I don't know...call me "old school" but I think the powers-that-be are making it harder and harder to have that kind of attitude. All the penalties they call now for personal fouls and "illegal" hits that are absolutely, perfectly normal, aggressive hits are absolutely ridiculous.

They do it in college, too. And I like that fact that the Powers are trying to make it more safe. That's great. But they're also in danger of taking away an aspect of the game that drew people to love football in the first place...the ferocity, the violence, the passion.

But I digress...that's another article. Back to the Cowboys.

I like Tony Romo as a person. There is not a person in the league more honorable and good than Jason Witten. DeMarcus Ware is a really solid guy. But unless we get somebody on this team that has "it", we'll never win an important game.

Bradie James is the closest thing we have. If his attitude were in Romo, our problems would be solved.

Did you see Keith Brooking go crazy when he made that play on fourth down today? That is what I'm talking about.

Instead, our coach and QB look like they'd rather be playing Go Fish than winning games on Sunday.

Something's got to change before we get back on top. Jerry Jones knows who has "it" and who doesn't. He'll find the right guys. Sometimes "it" doesn't show up in college so you have to rely a little bit on luck. Sometimes guys don't pan out like you think they will.

But he'll find the guys, and we'll eventually be the best again.

And, man, I hate to sound like a pessimist, but it just won't be anytime soon.

Comments

This site does not necessarily agree with comments posted below.

Quincy Hutchinson on October 5, 2009 1:12 PM

Great Post.

Two years ago Romo inherited a ferrari. Now he's driving an oldsmobile. I'm not positive we would have been better off to keep TO (hes old), but we need someone who can stretch the defense.

Thats the only way I can explain it. Romo used to consistently amaze me on 3rd and long. Now when he drops back I have no confidence. I think its time to lower expectations, and realize that when you look back on his career, 2007 is going to be the exception, not the rule (I hope I'm wrong).

I've always maintained that most of the time you really don't know the character of the team you root for. Witten seems great, but I don't really know what kind of guy he is. If I don't really know them, then I don't want guys that I think might be good character guys. I want Michael Irvin.

My unrealistic solution...
Demote Wade to D-coordinator. Bring back Jimmy.

Jimmy's first move...

Fire Barby Carpenter. I don't care who fills in. They couldn't be that much worse.

Wade would never do that.

mark rogers Author Profile Page on October 5, 2009 1:38 PM

"...I've always maintained that most of the time you really don't know the character of the team you root for. Witten seems great, but I don't really know what kind of guy he is. If I don't really know them, then I don't want guys that I think might be good character guys. I want Michael Irvin..."

Exactly...couldn't have said it better myself. Nowadays it's more politically correct to only root for guys that volunteer and are philanthopists and give their signing bonuses to baby seals. But guess where those guys are in late January? At their charity ball...not playing in the Super Bowl. Not saying there aren't good guys on championship teams, or that it's bad to give your signing bonus to baby seals, or that it's bad to root for "good guys"...just talking about the type of personality that does whatever it takes to win it all.

Anonymous on October 5, 2009 2:01 PM

Would somebody PLEEEEZZZEEEE come to the realization that Terrence Newman is a crummy corner?? He's got the whole world fooled into thinking he's some kind of god at corner back, when in reality, when the teams do throw at him, he gives up big plays, gets called for interference, or misses tackles. He's the Kevin Smith of the oughts. The sooner the Cowboys come to that realization and start looking for another corner, the sooner our defense will start improving. Do you think the Cowboys' defense could have stopped the Broncos inside the five yard line?? NO WAY!!..especially if they had thrown to Newman's man. I hate 'em.

mark rogers Author Profile Page on October 6, 2009 12:21 PM

OK dad...you've convinced me. I will no longer defend Terrence Newman because he no longer defends anything. Your hate has infiltrated me to my deepest core. For that I thank you.

Special K on October 6, 2009 1:35 PM

Thank you, I'm glad you are now realizing what everyone else has seen over the last 2 seasons. Romo is not the answer and his jerseys are over priced. They should be on a clearance rack with Cedric Benson's Chicago Bear's jerseys. 13-3 was an accident, this is the essential Tony Romo.

mark rogers Author Profile Page on October 6, 2009 1:47 PM

I think people should get money back if they buy a Romo jersey now. I'm so glad I decided on the #12 Staubach a few years ago when it was up for debate, and I had 1,000 to spend on a shirt that probably cost $.50 to make.

Dr. J on October 7, 2009 4:59 PM

Cowboys suck.

I can't stand to watch them(even though I will).

We have a bunch of babies on our team, reflective of our victim mentality, "everyone's fault but mine", euro-trash, everyone gets a medal CULTURE!!!!!!

Sorry, that rant is mainly aimed at Romo, who's butt is flabbier than mine, and whose biceps are still smaller than mine, and the closest thing I've done in the past 4 years to working out is moving the mouse on my computer in my office. We overreacted WAY too fast to Romo with the contract we gave him. Now we are stuck with him for the forseeable future. And he also wears the dumbest looking hats and outfits in his press-conferences, it drives me crazy!!

Think about this.........just think......1. Romo's own high school coach said "really didn't think he was that great in High School", 2. Romo go's to Eastern Illinois, 3. Barely makes NFL team as an obscure, sub-D1 player, signing his first contract that would barely pay my rent for one year, 4. Romo, because of the age and total implosion and lack of mobility of Drew Bledsoe gets a chance, 5. Romo is yet to win a legit Huge game, with the exception of our reg. season showdown in '08 with the Packers on Monday Night Football(and that game was never close)...............................................................................................Conclusion...not really that good. Read my timeline above AGAIN, everyone along the way had it right, there is a REASON he went to Eastern Illinois, there is a REASON he was undrafted, the is a REASON he didn't wow everyone as soon as he got to Cowboys camp, there is a REASON Parcells was so hesitant to give him a chance!!!....(tense pause) The reason is...drumroll....He's just not that good.

I hate to admit it, and I'm not saying that he can't eventually become a dominant QB, but as history has shown us...usually your past actions, your resume, whatever you wanna call it...Speak for themself

Going back to Mark's point about attitude and mentality and everything else - Tony's biggest problem is that in his mind...failure IS an option!

Enuff

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