Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Monday, May 24, 2010
Staubach: Super Cowboys could happen

By Tim MacMahon
ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach expressed optimism Monday that his former team can become the first to play a Super Bowl in its own stadium.

That was after Staubach, the North Texas Super Bowl committee chairman, briefly addressed the Dallas Cowboys after their organized team activity workout.

"I didn't want to jinx them about the Super Bowl being here, but that would be fun," Staubach said. "That would be extra special. And it could happen."

Staubach discussed the importance of pulling together, telling the players how the 1971 Cowboys recovered from a drama-filled 4-3 start to earn the first of the franchise's five Super Bowl championships. Staubach believes these Cowboys have the potential to add to that total after ending a 13-season playoff win drought last year.

"This is a really, really good football team and they have the capability," Staubach said. "There are probably five or six teams in the NFL that can win it all. This is one of them. They can do it.

"It's a matter of giving that little extra and fighting, and I think they have that attitude, too. The way it transpired at the end of the year in the Minnesota game was rough, but they really were a team at the end of the year, and I think they're even better this year."

Staubach raved about all the Cowboys' offensive weapons, comparing them to the best units he quarterbacked during the 1970s. But his optimism begins with Tony Romo.

"I'm a big Tony Romo fan," Staubach said. "You've got that feeling. There's a few quarterbacks that when they hit the field, you know something good is going to happen. When Troy [Aikman] was here, I knew it. I just felt it. I feel the same way about Tony. When he's on that field, good things are going to happen."

A divided locker room was among the reasons the Cowboys underachieved in 2007 and '08. So team owner Jerry Jones got rid of Terrell Owens and others, and last season Dallas wound up winning a playoff game for the first time since 1996.

With most of last year's players and coaches back, the Cowboys will be among the favorites to win it all again. Staubach's message might help.

"Anything that comes out of his mouth is good when he talks to you about those things -- team, and what it's like to be champions," tight end Jason Witten said. "To hear him talk about that process and what it was like, it's definitely something we will take from and try to put in our own team, and the way we work and play together."

Coach Wade Phillips often asks former Cowboys greats to speak to the club when they're at practice. Recent honorees were Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin, guys who even the youngest players know about and possibly even saw play. Phillips had to give a more detailed introduction for Staubach, who was one of the most popular players of his era, but whose eras was the 1970s.

"I'm sure they've all heard of him," he said.

If not, they certainly know all about the Cowboys having won five Super Bowls and being known as "America's Team." It's something players still talk about whenever they pull on the famed silver helmet with a blue star on the side.

"There's a lot of pressure on us all the time to live up to those kind of people," Phillips said. "But I think that's good."

He also believes this year's club is capable of following Staubach's team-first advice.

"I think we have a lot of first-class guys," Phillips said. "I don't know if we'll be the '71 team, but I do feel good going forward with this team."

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.