Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: May 24, 2:20 PM ET
Coach, QB deny window closing
By Tim MacMahon
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' head coach and quarterback don't believe the team's sense of urgency has increased despite owner Jerry Jones expressing concern that the current roster's window to contend for a title is closing.
Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo agree that the Cowboys have a strong sense of urgency, but they say that's standard operating procedure.
"It's not closing," Romo said after Wednesday's organized team activity workout. "I think there's a sense of urgency every year that you play, whether it's your first year in the league or your 22nd. You never know when all that stuff is going to happen, so you just play every year as if it's an urgent day. Forget about thinking about the end of the year or two months away. You've got to get better today. Whether you're a rookie or an 11-year veteran around here, you've got to do that same approach.
"It's the same. If it increases, then you didn't do what you needed to do when you were younger."
The Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s, soon after Jones bought the team, but they have only one playoff win in the last 15 seasons. The Cowboys have missed the playoffs the last two seasons.
"Well, my window is getting shorter. Time goes by," Jones, also the team's general manager, told NFL Network at the NFL spring meetings Tuesday. "I do feel real pressure because we do have players not only in Tony Romo, but Jason Witten (and) DeMarcus Ware, to leave out several that are (also) in the prime of their career. And we need to strike and strike soon with those guys.
"Jason Garrett feels exactly the same way about it and understands how urgent it is. Candidly, you're looking through rose-colored glasses if we all don't realize that now is the time to compete on the field."
Garrett, however, said he would feel that way regardless of the players on the roster.
"My experience in this league as a player and a coach has been that the best players and the best teams have a sense of urgency every single day in all that they do," said Garrett, who is entering his second full season as the Cowboys' head coach. "You can talk about an OTA in May or a minicamp or a walkthrough or meeting or early in training camp. Whatever they do, the best guys have urgency to them. The best guys have urgency to them.
"So that's been my experience. We're always trying to create an urgent atmosphere around here regardless of who our players are, and that's our approach."
The Cowboys aggressively added to their supporting cast this offseason. They signed seven free agents, a crop headlined by $50 million cornerback Brandon Carr, and traded their top two draft picks to move up to the sixth overall pick to select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, the No. 2 player on Dallas' draft board.
I think there's a sense of urgency every year that you play, whether it's your first year in the league or your 22nd. You never know when all that stuff is going to happen, so you just play every year as if it's an urgent day.
-- Cowboys QB Tony Romo
on team's championship window