The Cowboys never stood a chance last season. Their dreams of becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium died after a 1-7 start.
"I know that as we sit here as the Dallas Cowboys, we're coming off a really bad year," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "We stunk it up, and there’s no question about in my mind about that. We’ve made some hard decisions, and we’re going to make some more about personnel over the next few days."
The Cowboys will make official Thursday their decisions to waive Roy Williams, Leonard Davis, Kris Brown, Marion Barber, Robert Brewster and Travis Bright. They are excited about who they have coming: rookie first-round pick Tyron Smith, new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and the expected arrival of some unrestricted free agents. (Cullen Jenkins? Abram Elam? Kenyon Coleman?)
“Something I think is important to remember is when you start a new year, it’s a new football team,” Garrett said. “The dynamics are different; the chemistry is different. You have to develop those things. So let’s start with that. This is a new football team from 2010, which was different from 2009. Let’s start with that premise. You can have some continuity form year to year if the systems are the same. Our offensive system and our system in our kicking game will be similar to the ones we have seen in the past. Rob has a different challenge installing his defensive system."
Garrett refuses to look back. When pressed about what the Cowboys could do better than they did the first half of last season, he impatiently started reeling off a laundry list of things.
"We have to do everything better; we have to do everything better," he said. "We have to play better on offense. We have to play better on defense. We have to play better in the kicking game. We have to play better in situational football. We have to take care of the football better. We have to get the ball away from them better. We have to practice better. We have to finish games better. I can keep going...."
Jones' glass always is half-full as he reminded reporters Wednesday in the team's kickoff press conference. But it's last year's disappointing 6-10 record that gives him optimism about 2011.
“The fact that we have been wearing around this unsuccessful year as long as we have, to me, that’s motivational,” Jones said. “It makes you not want to wear losing around. So I think we will benefit from that.”
-- Charean Williams