As his Dallas Cowboys prepare to play Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, Jerry Jones reflected on what makes Brady an all-time great.
"I think the mental part. Just how he has excelled and made what would be almost obvious adjustments in his game ... the importance of knowing how to play the game, knowing how to play the position. That’s the impressive part of it," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan's Shan & RJ (around the six-minute mark). "To say he’s average physically is way too much. He's much better than that. ... He’s shown everybody that you can play this game within the rules and ... really have that position make all the difference in the world.”
Brady led the Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl championship—and his record seventh—at age 43 last season. He returns with a starting lineup that looks almost 100 percent the same as 2020, with the Buccaneers becoming the first Super Bowl champion of the salary-cap era to return all of its starters.
Jones' point about Brady's mind being his greatest asset is 100 percent correct. He's never been much of a runner, and Brady's downfield throwing accuracy is nowhere near the heights he reached with Randy Moss back in 2007. The way Brady has stayed on top is through his incredible ability to sense pressure and avoid major hits while also being able to read coverages before the snap and know the correct read.
“If you want to perform at the highest level, you have to prepare at the highest level mentally,” Brady said in the Facebook Watch documentary Tom vs. Time (via CNBC). “I still work on athleticism—running and, you know, jumping—and do all those things that I need to do, but you know it’s a very minimal part of what I do."
Brady will look to continue beating time this season and is under contract through 2022, at which point he'll be 45 years old.