<
>

Players need to be on alert

Jerry Jones said at the National Scouting Combine that players need to be nervous.

Not so much because they were going to lose jobs, Tony Romo, DeMarcus Ware, Bradie James, Andre Gurode, Jason Witten and a few others won't lose their gigs anytime soon.

It was a message that the organization won't accept losing, despite the accomplishments of 2009. Yes the Cowboys won the NFC East and won a playoff game for the first time in over a decade, but Jones said the divisional playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings was a wakeup call to how far the team was from the elite.

Wade Phillips is sending the same message. It's silly to say Phillips should put an entire team on notice, because the coach has already proven he will play the best players.

Last year, he allowed Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins to fight for the staring cornerback job. Jenkins won. You could say the Cowboys should have benched Roy Williams, and I would agree with you, however the coaches felt, Williams was still better than Patrick Crayton and Kevin Ogletree. If that was the case, how could you argue against that?

Jones and Phillips have said pride pushes players to do better and they expect Williams to perform at a high level in 2010.

"I think that’s the case every year," Phillips said of players being on edge from year-to-year. "It's 31 teams in front of you. If you didn’t win it, then you have to find out a way to do it. Jerry has won three Super Bowls it's something that’s a lofty goal, but it’s a goal we need to have as a football team and as an organizatoiin because that motivates you to get to that goal."