As the Dallas Cowboys prepare to open training camp Monday in Oxnard, Calif., owner Jerry Jones made it clear today that he does not want to dwell on off-season comments he made about the team’s window of opportunity as a Super Bowl contender possibly closing as key players move into their 30s.
“I want to close the window to closing the window,” Jones said in today’s opening news conference of training camp. “That was off-season talk. We’ll leave it right there.”
Jones echoed coach Jason Garrett’s mantra about believing the Cowboys are “building a championship team” based on off-season personnel moves. Citing the 9-7 regular-season record posted by last year’s Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants, Jones said: “If nine wins can win the Super Bowl, certainly I’m optimistic.”
But Jones acknowledged the time to make a Super Bowl run is now, not later.
“I do feel a sense or urgency,” Jones said. “But more in the framework that, when we open up against the Giants, we’ve got to do better. We’ve got to be tougher.”
Jones surmised that the continuity involved with having the team’s entire training camp in Oxnard, as well as two pre-season games in California against the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, will help enhance the focus and build “team toughness.”
“I think we’re much improved,” Jones said. “Some of the things that caused us to come up short in ball games (last year) should directly be improved by the fact we’ve had this off-season” work together.
_ Jimmy Burch