IRVING -- When Jerry Jones says the Dallas Cowboys can evolve into contenders, two words come to mind: unadulterated poppycock.
We should probably be used to this from the only NFL owner who moonlights as a panties salesman because he's known for hyperbole. We're talking about a man who wears rose-colored glasses while he reads Zig Ziegler books about motivation.
Jerry is an eternal optimist, a man who admittedly always sees the glass as half full. The worst thing that ever happened to the Cowboys was the 9-7 New York Giants making a run to the Super Bowl last year.
Now, Jones only concerns himself with getting hot in time for the playoffs with a team that traditionally fades as the weather turns cold and the magnitude of the games increases.
The Giants made their championship run last season because they have an elite quarterback, a dude I guarantee would have run more than one play in the final 26 seconds in Dallas' 31-29 loss to Baltimore last week. And the Giants pair Eli Manning with the game's best four-man pass rush, which puts quarterbacks under duress and forces them into mistakes.
If you're honest, you know the Cowboys wish they had a roster full of players with the Giants' intangibles.
"Yeah, every man in this room should believe that," said Witten, when asked whether the Cowboys could evolve into championship contenders. "If you don't, get out of here.
"But you have to go prove it every week. Did the Giants think it at 7-7? That's the way this league goes. I'm not saying that's the formula for doing it. You have to still win games. We feel we have the men in this room who can do it. Now you have to go show it."
Frankly, I'm not even sure Jerry really believes it when he says the Cowboys could evolve into contenders.