- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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OXNARD, Calif. -- Jason Witten summed up the Cowboys’ mindset a few moments after stepping off the plane at the Point Magu Naval Base: “It can’t be the same old story.”
How do the Cowboys write a different story? It starts with attention to every single detail.
“You look at those key games that we lost -- a handful of plays,” Witten said. “The difference is small things. And there’s no excuses for that. You’ve got to go make it happen, and you’ve got to demand that everybody understands that. We’re not getting it tomorrow. No, we’re going to get it today. We’re going to get it right today.”
Jerry Jones closed the window to talk of windows closing at the beginning of training camp, but Witten embraced the owner’s message during all that offseason discussion.
As a seven-time Pro Bowler with one playoff win, Witten feels a strong sense of urgency entering his 10th season. He considers it part of his job to make sure the rest of the Cowboys feel the same thing.
“Hey, there’s going to be a standard created,” Witten said. “I think Tony (Romo) does a great job of, ‘This is what I want.’ That’s an 8-yard stop route. You can’t run it at 12. That’s a 10-yard out route. I can’t run it at 6. Also, everybody’s got to understand that and feel that urgency. I think that’s what Jerry was saying earlier.
“That urgency has to happen not just Wednesday, September 5. It’s got to happen out here on Saturday, August 4. You’ve got to create that. There’s no tolerance for not knowing how to line up. We’re going to miss blocks or drop balls or those things occasionally, but we can’t afford not to know what we’re doing or how to do it.”