The Dallas Cowboys will not be participating in the 2013 Super Bowl. To most fans this should not be much of a startling revelation considering the Cowboys have been no better than a .500 team over the last 17 years. To Jerry Jones, the Cowboys' 31-29 loss to the Ravens might be considered proof that his team is close to being a contender.
That's what he thought the year before after losing the division to the Giants in the season finale, right? How did that work out? Yeah, another 8-8 season and more questions than answers.
Now the Cowboys head into the 2013 offseason with a lot to prove and what continues to be a recurring theme for this franchise. Jason Garrett survived Jerry's wrath, but Rob Ryan and a few other coaches were shown the door or encouraged to leave through it.
Monte Kiffin has now arrived in Dallas to unveil his 4-3 defense along with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. All signs are pointing to Bill Callahan calling plays in 2013 and that leaves Garrett in a peculiar position. Is he a lame duck? Will being a walk-around coach enable him to manage the game better? Or is Jerry just laying the groundwork for a Jon Gruden arrival?
Only Jerry knows what Jerry wants, but there is still much work to do in Dallas. Free agency is over a month away and the draft shortly follows, but this could conceivably be a very critical offseason for the Cowboys. It's time for this team to take a major step forward and close the gap with the NFC's elite.
But behind any hopes and aspirations for a 2014 Super Bowl should lie a great plan. Let's start to develop the building blocks for one; the future of this franchise depends on it.