- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Troy Aikman might be the only person as impressed with the Cowboys’ roster as Jerry Jones.
Aikman has always been high on Tony Romo, taking his praise to a new level earlier this offseason by declaring that Romo was better than him. There is no question in Aikman’s mind that the Cowboys have a quarterback in place who is capable of leading a team to a title.
“I know that to win you have to have a great quarterback, and I believe that Tony Romo is that,” Aikman said. “I know what the criticisms are. I know that he has to win in January before people really put him in the elite status. But until you do that, there are always going to be those questions.
“He had a great year last year. That’s the concerning thing to me is that you think about how good he played last year and yet it still wasn’t good enough for this team to make the playoffs. That’s a concern.”
Dallas also has to figure out how to stop fading down the stretch, which has been an issue since Bill Parcells’ days ruling the Valley Ranch roost. The hope is that the players getting the opportunity to work with six-time Super Bowl champion strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik will solve some of those problems.
Jones thought the Cowboys were Super Bowl contenders last season until they were eliminated from the playoffs in the de facto NFC East title game against the Giants on New Year’s Day, which was Dallas’ fourth loss in the final five games. Aikman agrees with that thought process.
“With three weeks left in the season, nobody even thought they were going to make the playoffs,” Aikman said of the Giants. “They hit it at the right time and got to playing well, gained some confidence, and they go on to win the Super Bowl. When you look back on that season, you fail to remember they really struggled for a good part of that year.
“The Cowboys, had they have won that last game of the season against the Giants, then they would have been in the playoffs. Now, I don’t know if they would have gone on to win the Super Bowl, but that’s how fine the line is between winning and losing, and winning a Super Bowl in this league.
“For the Cowboys if you look at the total picture, one playoff win in however many years that it’s been – not real good. But I do, as Emmitt said, agree that Jason Garrett is the right guy. Now, he has to win. There is a lot of pressure on him and they have some things in place. We seem to say this every year, but I expect them to have a really good year.”