Inside the Dallas Cowboys


Inside the Dallas Cowboys
Taylor: Tony Romo needs to elevate his game in ‘Dirk-like’ fashion to bring Cowboys a title

The Dallas Morning News
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Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, here attending a Mavericks game, has seen Dirk Nowitzki raise his game to a championship level. Can Romo do the same?


With the Mavs in the NBA Finals and the Rangers having played in the World Series last year, it makes you wonder how long it’ll take the Cowboys to get back to the Super Bowl.

It depends on whether Tony Romo can mature as a player and elevate his game. The Mavs need him to do the same thing Dirk Nowitzki has done, which is have his physical and mental game reach an apex at the same time.

Clearly, it hasn’t happened yet. There is, however, still time.

That’s because even the biggest Romo haters have to admit he has all of the physical talent to succeed at the highest level. The legitimate questions about Romo have always revolved around his decision-making – not his golf game or his girlfriends.

For the Cowboys to play for a championship, they have to count on Romo to make the right play at the right time? To make the right decision at the right time. To make the perfect throw at the right time.

He’s only 1-3 in the playoffs, but Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have made it clear they want the Cowboys’ offense to be as Romo-friendly as possible to maximize his skill set. That’s why they drafted tackle Tyron Smith.

The Cowboys have a terrific set of receivers and what should be a solid group of running backs with rookie DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones getting most of the carries. Rob Ryan should maximize the defensive talent.

Whenever the NFL season begins, the Cowboys aren’t going to be among the favorites to play in the Super Bowl. Nor should they be after going 6-10 last season.

But if they’re going to get there in the next few seasons, it’ll be because Romo is playing the best football of his career.


Q: I realize the cap may be altered significantly based on the outcome of the lockout, but how was Dallas doing against the salary cap? Would they have room to sign a big free agent or two if the cap numbers aren’t changed?

Mark Mumford

TAYLOR: The salary cap can always be manipulated to sign a big-name player because all Dallas would do is restructure the contracts of someone like Tony Romo or Miles Austin or DeMarcus Ware. That means essentially converting their salary into a signing bonus, which lowers their cap figure for the season. That said, I would be surprised of the Cowboys added a big-dollar free agent. There’s too much risk. The Cowboys prefer medium-priced free agents in most circumstances.

* * *

Q: Do the Cowboys have a plan for the kicking woes?

Quinn Hudson, Plano

TAYLOR: Dallas is going to let David Buehler and Kris Brown battle it out whenever the season starts. Brown has been a good kicker until injuries slowed him down. Buehler has all of the talent in the world, but he’s way to inconsistent for whatever reason. It’s time for him to perform.

* * *

Q: Is Dez Bryant , Michael Irvin or Antonio Bryant in three years?

Zach Sewell, Mesquite

TAYLOR: No idea. No one knows. Bryant is a phenomenal talent, but he has some immaturity issues – like a lot of folks in their early 20s – that he must make sure he gets corrected. If he does that, it’ll really allow his talent to flow.

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