The Cowboys finished each of the last two seasons at 8-8, and coach Jason Garrett said "that's not good enough."
Yet, despite again missing the playoffs, Garrett still believes the arrow is moving up for his team.
"We feel good about some of the things we’ve done the last couple years, being in these games where we have a chance to win the division," Garrett said. "But we know that’s not good enough. We have a very urgent mentality. You’ve heard me say this before. I’ve been in this league for a long time as a player and a coach, and there isn’t a day I haven’t been urgent. That’s just the way this league is. It’s a competitive league, and anybody who wants to be successful in it, that sense of urgency is critical.
"But you want to make good decisions, you want to create the right kind of culture, you want to create the right kind of identity for your football team. We’re in the process of doing that.”
Owner Jerry Jones has said the same thing, and he doesn't believe wholesale roster changes are needed, despite the .500 mark the last two seasons.
But are the Cowboys really better?
The offensive line is still inconsistent, specifically in the interior. The running game, at least in 2012, finished 31st in the NFL.
While it's good that Garrett has expressed a sense of urgency and Jones has challenged the coaching staff to make players better, the team must produce on the field. The Cowboys made numerous changes to the coaching staff, starting with new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Garrett and Jones each praised new receivers coach Derek Dooley as a positive influence.
"I felt good about the talent and I felt good about Jason," Jones said. "I wanted us and our fans to take advantage of Jason’s tenure in two-and-a-half years as head coach and six years as offensive coordinator with (Tony) Romo. I didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I think we’ll benefit (from assistant coaching changes) on both sides of the ball and special teams. Jason, as head coach, is going to be dealing with some new ideas, some new emphasis in each of these coaches' philosophies and their ideas."