Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will enter this season with a sense of desperation, concerned that his current roster's window to contend for a title is closing.
"Well, my window is getting shorter. Time goes by," Jones told NFL Network at the owners meetings in Atlanta. "I do feel real pressure because we do have players not only in (quarterback) Tony Romo, but (tight end) Jason Witten (and outside linebacker) DeMarcus Ware, to leave out several that are (also) in the prime of their career. And we need to strike and strike soon with those guys.
"(Coach) Jason Garrett feels exactly the same way about it and understands how urgent it is. Candidly, you're looking through rose-colored glasses if we all don't realize that now is the time to compete on the field."
The Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s, soon after Jones bought the team, but they have only one playoff victory in the last 15 seasons. They failed to reach the playoffs the last two seasons.
Jones was convinced the Cowboys were Super Bowl contenders last season until they lost to the New York Giants on New Year's Day with the NFC East title and a playoff berth at stake. Watching the Giants win the Super Bowl only reinforced Jones' belief that the Cowboys had a chance to contend for a championship this season.
"When we see a team like the Giants come back with nine (regular) season wins and be world champion, then we know it's there for most clubs," said Jones, whose team finished 8-8 after losing four of its last five games. "That's not taking anything away from the Giants. That's just inspiring the Cowboys a little bit."
The Cowboys aggressively added to their supporting cast this offseason. They signed seven free agents, a crop headlined by $50-million cornerback Brandon Carr, and traded their top two draft picks to move up to the sixth overall pick to select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, the No. 2 player on Dallas' draft board.
"It's about time that we go to that next step and I think our team is going to be ready for that," Romo said last month.
Jones referred to the 2011 season as perhaps the most disappointing of his ownership tenure in the wake of that loss at Met Life Stadium, a point he reiterated during his Tuesday interview with the NFL Network.
"We have experienced at least a couple of the most disappointing seasons that I've ever had because we had great play from Tony and we still didn't get it done," Jones said. "What we've got to do is, while we've still got him on the job, we've got to come with the rest of it and position us to better compete for a Super Bowl. I have a lot of confidence in Tony."