OXNARD, Calif. – Some things never change with Jerry Jones. He starts each season pumping up the Cowboys as Super Bowl contenders.
Jones notes that coaches rarely make those kinds of preseason proclamations. They’d rather not impact their job security by coming up short after setting the bar sky high.
“I’m the opposite,” said Jones, the only general manager in the league who is his own boss. “I’m in the business of wanting people to be excited about our team.”
Sometimes, he actually really believes the bold words coming out of his mouth. Jones insists that this is one of those years.
Jones points to a roster that has stars in their prime, including franchise quarterback Tony Romo. Jones expresses confidence that Jason Garrett will benefit significantly from the experience he gained during last year’s 8-8 campaign, his first full season as a head coach.
“And I will say this: I’m also betting it because I just can’t accept standing right here that we will be as disappointing as we were last year,” Jones said. “I can’t accept that, because I know that it was my most disappointing year as a Cowboy, and we can’t have individually players play at the level that they did last year and not do better.
“I mean, I can without any stretch of imagination see where we could have been where the Giants were as far as getting into the tournament and then turning around and having some of that success. That’s not hard for me to reach there, and I’m unabashed, I don’t have any problem saying that publicly.”
Yet Jones is wise enough to know that the words that come out of his mouth might be good marketing but are meaningless in terms of what happens on the field.
“Here, my mouthing and my preseason assessment goes over in that judgmental area, that opinion area,” Jones said. “The real world in the NFL goes to what that score is in terms of the numbers of wins. So I could be the most persuasive individual in the world and get everybody believing they’ve got it done right now and it doesn’t matter when we play.
“But I do think we have a right to get excited about the team this year.”