Welcome to the latest edition of "What They Should Be Thinking Today," an award-winning series where I attempt to get inside the heads of the four teams from the NFC East.
The Dallas Cowboys wrapped up their mandatory mini-camp today at Valley Ranch. As they part for summer vacation, here's what they should be thinking.
We're confident in our leaders
Jerry and Stephen Jones have taken a lot of heat lately—some of it justified and some of it unjustified—but there aren't many better owners in sports. They are about winning and winning only, and they're willing to spend in order to accomplish those goals.
The Cowboys were spoiled with three championships in the early 1990s. Fans sometimes lose track of that fact when we whine about our recent fortunes. Mathematically, it's not our time. Only one of Dallas' division rivals has won a Super Bowl since then.
The team has still been .500 or better six of the last seven years. I know, it's only won a single playoff game in that span, but there are quite a few teams who could only dream of experiencing the kind of success the Cowboys have had in the not-too-distant past.
Jerry's track record is good. Yeah, he's screwed up (Roy Williams), but you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take (Gretzky, Wayne).
Look at last year's draft: Tyron Smith and DeMarco Murray are already two of the most important players on the team, and Bruce Carter's having a great offseason.
Go back another year: Dez Bryant and Sean Lee. You kidding me?
Jerry and his personnel peeps hit more often than the majority of their NFL peers. The expectation level is simply too high. We're underestimating how much luck is involved in winning playoff games and titles. It'll come, but we have to be patient.
It's not always going to feel like 1993.
It's too bad we haven't gotten to see many key contributors yet
Especially those damn rookies. Four of Dallas' top five draft picks—including No. 6 overall selection Morris Claiborne—have yet to practice due to injury. Plus, the team is still missing hopeful starter Mackenzy Bernadeau and veteran corner Mike Jenkins. Oh, and DeMarcus Ware has been sidelined more often than the team would like.
Dallas didn't have an offseason last year, so this is better than nothing, but it's always nice to head into training camp with a feel for how your new arrivals look.
We're not trading Mike Jenkins
I know, we've said this before. Several times. But we're just gonna remind you one more time before taking off that Jenkins is too good, too cheap and too useless on the open market—especially with that injury—to trade.
Are we pissed that he hasn't been communicating with us and won't be spending his summer rehabbing here? Sure, but this is business, not personal. He helps our team.
See ya in late July, Mike.