The hot topic in Dallas Cowboys news this past week has been the impending closure of the team’s ‘window’ for success with its current stars, and the sense of urgency it has created. With current team leaders and star players now entering the fourth quarter of their lofty careers, the ability to produce at their highest level has an approximate shelf life of 2 to 4 years remaining.
While the size of this ‘window’ in regards to time left with these stars has narrowed, the doomsday consequences accompanying it have decreased along with the number of players comprising the group involved. This previously cataclysmic dilemma has been greatly reduced due to the recent youth movement by the team over the past few years. Which in turn has created a much less daunting threat of regression when moving on to the next window.
As a credit to Cowboys management, the number of seemingly irreplaceable players is not as large as rightly perceived a few seasons ago when the Cowboys were an aging bunch. Just hearing the names of Andre Gurode, Bradie James, Keith Brooking, Kyle Kosier, and Mark Colombo should help Cowboys fans revisit the state of the team in 2010.
While none of these players were superstars, all were integral cogs of the Cowboys machine and nobody looked forward to replacing all of them along with the main stars in the near future. It could have been disastrous if the team hadn’t taken the initiative and boldly gotten the ball rolling with mass transitions at inside linebacker and offensive line.
According to my count, there are currently only a handful of star veteran players that will strongly affect this team once their skills soon begin to diminish with age. Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Jay Ratliff, and DeMarcus Ware are the guys who currently fit the description. While all four are paramount to the Cowboys success at the moment and the best Dallas has to offer, the size of the group has become relatively small.
Naturally there will be other player losses within the next five years due to injury, decline, free agency, etc. However, each core starter aside from these four, and many of their back-ups on this Cowboys team have a logical chance to play at just as a high level five years from now as in 2012.