Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) is congratulated by Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Dallas Cowboys Really Trying To Win Now?

The Dallas Cowboys have to win now. The urge to win now is supposed to dominate the Cowboys draft decisions. I’ve even read how the Cowboys need a General Manager to establish a long term vision for the Cowboys. It’s silly actually. The members of Cowboy Nation are always subject to media brain-washing.

What NFL team isn’t trying to win now? You probably want to name teams that finished at the bottom of the standings last year, but that would be a mistake. This season five of the eight worst teams all made moves to “Win Now”.

Team Name

2013 Record

Off Season Move

Houston Texans

2 – 14

New Coach

3 – 13

New Coach
Cleveland Browns

4 – 12

New Coach
Oakland Raiders

4 – 12

No Changes – Drafting 5th
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4 – 12

New Coach
Jacksonville Jaguars

4 – 12

No Changes – Drafting 3rd
Atlanta Falcons

4 – 12

No Changes – Drafting 6th
Minnesota Vikings

5 – 10 – 1

New Coach

All of these teams are hoping to have a season similar to the Kansas City Chiefs or the Philadelphia Eagles. After the 2012 season, the Chiefs were 2 – 14 before hiring Head Coach Andy Reid and the Eagles were 4 – 12 before hiring Chip Kelly. A new coach and a high first round draft pick helped both teams make the playoffs last season.

Often, the goal isn’t to win the Lombardi immediately but to appease and convince the fan base that the franchise is taking steps in the right direction. It’s about showing improvement, a willingness to win. A new coaching staff and / or the signing of a free agent drives ticket sales which eliminates TV blackouts and equals revenue. When a team is near the bottom of the standings, sometimes a drastic move like a new coaching staff is necessary.

I don’t believe the Cowboys need to do anything close to drastic this off-season. The coaching tree has been shuffled and Scott Linehan was added. It’s not a direct move to improve the defense, but anything that helps improve the offense does keep the defense off the field. The winning team is always the one with the most points.

The Cowboys haven’t done anything drastic and I don’t expect them too. What separated the Cowboys from other playoff teams? The list isn’t that long – primarily injuries but a defensive stop against the Lions or Packers, one punt by the Broncos, a fumble recovery against the Chiefs – all would’ve been game changers. Our problems, when removed from the national magnifying glass, are fairly minor.

Two defensive linemen and a safety could be found in the draft and improve our team. That’s why things are quiet in Valley Ranch. The Cowboys don’t need to make drastic moves. That may contradict media reports that the Cowboys are in a “Win Now” mode. The simple truth is the Cowboys are always in a “Win Now” mode – All teams are. Some are just more desperate than others.

With the 2014 NFL Combine approaching, I want to recommend an excellent article titled – 2014 Combine Viewing Guide by Tony Villiotti. Hope you enjoy it.


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