Jul 22, 2013; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive units listen to instructions from coaches during training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys: A Better Tomorrow?

The Dallas Cowboys are not in a decline.

You could have suggested it three years ago and be right. If you suggested the team was in decline right after the 2013 NFL Draft, I’d buy it.

But not now. Not after two solid draft cycles. The Cowboys are denying trophy pieces, opting instead to pack the squad with skilled character players with a résumé of once being a captain.

Times They Are A-Changin’

There’s a philosophy change happening in Dallas. Jerry Jones no longer pleads for star power; it is more about a “balanced power” these days.

This isn’t the same Dallas Cowboys. This is a team — led by the mysterious assistant director of player personnel Will McClay — looking to change the culture by drafting smart. By paying smart. By rejecting big contracts for declining stars (DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher). By building a front line. By building a defensive line.

This shift in culture takes time. Successful teams take time to build. And that’s where the Cowboys are — the beginning stages.

Pushing Across the Universe

And while I like the direction the Cowboys are going in, it’s hard for me, at this time of year, to see the team owning a winning record next season. The problem isn’t the players, coaches, or the new draft selections.

Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett leads his team down the tunnel prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett leads his team down the tunnel prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The problem is the strength of the 2014 schedule. While the Cowboys are taking smalls steps forward, teams in the NFC Conference (except the NFC East Division) are levels higher than the Cowboys.

The boat in Dallas has crashed for decades. The boat docked for years. Other teams moved forward. But the Cowboys are catching on. Things are being patched. Fixed.

And while the wave of 2014 might be difficult for the Cowboys to push pass, if this team keeps their direction there is reason to believe they will be on the rise for years to come.

A Better Tomorrow

Leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, I believed the Dallas Cowboys were maybe a good 8 to 10-years away from competing for a championship. The Cowboys weren’t drafting well. A culture was not established (our culture was known as not having culture). There was this salary cap mess thing too.

With the way things run now, the 8 to 10-years prediction, I admit, is now a blur.

Tomorrow is looking a lot better than yesterday.

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Tags: Cowboys 2014 NFL Schedule Jerry Jones The Dallas Cowboys Will McClay

  • David

    No team in todays NFL is 8 to 10 years away with the right coach and GM. All you have to do is look at the Niners and how horrible their franchise was until Harbaugh showed up…

    • Howard Willis

      It wasn’t so much Harbough as it was the drafts SF has had, they rebuilded the same way Dallas is trying to do now. SF and Dallas are the only two teams I can recall with 3 first round O-Lineman. They have nailed their drafts the last several years and yes that probably has Harbaugh’s fingerptints all over it, but it was the drafs that really rebuilt the 49ers.

      • David

        Yes it was the drafts with Harbaugh having a major influence on them. Also Harbaugh is a great coach while JG is not. So that is part of the problem as well. Do I like the direction the Cowboys are going, well yes and no. I think they are starting to draft smarter especially with the O-line however that will be a moot point if JG continues his horrible pass happy philosophy.

  • Earl Robertson

    The schedule looks brutal but things can change over night. What looks like a for sure lost could become a win because of injuries or suspensions. The main thing Garett has to do a better job with game time decisions!! He seemed a little better last year but the lost to the Lions and Packers were hard to take. You can argue that the Lions game was Tanner fault and not Garrett but why would Tanner be in there at such a crucial time? Packers was move Romo fault for throwing that int but why was that option in the first place? True Packers stack the line and Romo saw a chance at a big play but all that matter at that point was the clock! Garrett has to be smarter then what he has proven so far ( don’t even get me started about the Cards game few years back) he needs to prove he can bring something to the table because right now I am not sure what he is good for! Even though I want him to succeed because think with Jerry Jones he seems to be a good fit but he has to start winning games with his strength which is supposedly his smarts!

  • SmartThinking

    Yeah. Yeah. Dallas is focusing on building a powerhouse for the future. That’s the excuse most of the also-rans use when they can barely break even. So, with logic like that, what do you promise this year’s season tickets purchasers? Come watch the re-building process! We won’t win. But, it’ll be very exciting!!!!

    There are going to be a whole lot of tomorrow’s. It’s those pesky Today’s this team has to try to explain … again. Especially following all those walloping promises big Jones and company have already made over just the past three years.

    Once Dallas completes this season with, what most of us on this site pretty much agree will be a losing, or tie season at best again, that “we’re building toward the future” thing isn’t going to be as convincing anymore.

    And the truth is, it won’t be the players’ fault. We can all lay another losing season right at the feet of big Jones and his coaching staff. And, it’s a fair question to ask, “Well. What are you going to tell us now?”

  • David G Javier

    the way I see it we’ve kinda upgraded Ware only gave us 6 sacks last year which we replaced in melton…we still have selvie and to make up for hatcher we have three prospects including tyrone crawford and a second round draft. Defensive line will has equaled out but no we’ve gotten younger and these bodies will be consistent our offense is fine we’ve lost how many games by only a few points.

  • truthbetold

    Things are not changing. As long as Jerry is running the show, things will never change.

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    It is truly nice to see smart personnel decisions coming out of Dallas. However, fans seem to forget that other teams are making smart decisions as well and have been doing so for many more years. That’s the reason the Cowboys will be lucky to have a break even season. And hold your breath because whether or not the Cowboys are future contenders will depend on them continuing to make smart personnel decisions. Unfortunately, this is not a given as long as Jerry Jones is in charge.