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Shutdown Corner

Jerry Jones says Cowboys championship window is closing; Tony Romo disagrees

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Shutdown Corner

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And the rest of us are wondering what it is that makes either of them believe that the Cowboys have a championship window.

Owner Jerry Jones told the NFL Network that since some key Cowboys are getting older, they need to win a championship sooner rather than later. And that's true, I suppose, but I don't know if the Cowboys are as close to a championship as Jerry thinks they are. From NFL.com:

"Well, my window is getting shorter. Time goes by," Jones told NFL Network at the NFL spring meetings. "I do feel real pressure because we do have players not only in (quarterback) Tony Romo, but (tight end) Jason Witten (and 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."

Romo is 32, Witten is 30 and Ware is 29. Despite those fellows being in their prime years, the Cowboys have not made the playoffs the last two seasons. The last time they qualified for the postseason was 2009, in Wade Phillips' last full year as head coach. That year, they got their only playoff win since 1996.

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Romo, the guy who will ultimately have the most to do with whether or not the Cowboys can compete for a Super Bowl, disagrees. He doesn't see a window opening or closing. The window's always the same for him.

"It's not closing. I think there's a sense of urgency every year that you play, whether it's your first year in the league or your 22nd. You never know when all that stuff is going to happen, so you just play every year as if it's an urgent day."

So maybe these two gentlemen just see the issue differently, and that's that. The other possibility is that Jerry Jones would really like to ignite a sense of urgency in his players and Tony Romo is just not getting it.

On the more practical side of things, it's easier to side with Romo. It's really hard to tell when a window is opening or closing, or if such windows even exist. Sure, Romo's 32, but he also didn't play much his first three years in the league, so he's low mileage. They also just drafted Morris Claibone, revamped their secondary, and have exciting young offensive players in DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant.

Who's to say that window can't stay open for a while? Who's to say that the window isn't closed and painted shut? Some will even tell you that the Cowboys can't win a championship as long as Romo is there.

Here are Jones' original comments:

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