If nothing else, Jerry Jones is always good for a headline-stealing zinger. From “glory hole” to “secret sauce” to “we’re gonna kick the Giants’ ass,” the owner’s training-camp kickoff press conference is usually saturated with optimism and spiced with a dash of hyperbole.
Wednesday in Oxnard we braced for a Category 5 blowhard. With his team fresh off a 12-4, division-championship, playoff-win season and a successful summer in which it added Greg Hardy, Byron Jones, Randy Gregory, La’el Collins and welcomed back Sean Lee, surely the NFL’s most visible owner would start with a bang.
I know last summer Jones predicted his team had a "long road ahead" but then celebrated wildly and unexpectedly as it overachieved. But now the Cowboys are back in the national spotlight. Las Vegas oddsmakers have them with the 6th-best chance to win Super Bowl 50 at 14/1.
Super Bowl or bust or …
Not even a mention of the Cowboys’ ultimate goal?!
“I’m going to keep avoiding it this year,” Jones said about side-stepping the words “Super” and “Bowl”.
Bag up the confetti. Keep the balloons tied up. Nothing to see – or hear – here after all.
Jerry Jones, modest realist?
“I think that we certainly have reason to be optimistic because of frankly, we can look at the way our team evolved last year,” he told reporters in advance of today’s first practice in California. “We can look at some of the circumstances that individually, with players as well as with the team, as well as parts within the team. If we can see how that worked last year and gave us some success, it's not hard to project and say, ‘Boy, if we could do that last year, maybe we can get some more of that this year and have that kind of success.’ That's not hard to do because the guys who are tasting it experienced it last year. Those players are in camp. We're not having to sit here and talk to guys about how it was in 1990 or in 2002.”
It’s always dicey to translate Jerry. But as a guy who’s been trying to since 1989 I think I’m hearing “We’re good enough to win the Super Bowl, but I don’t wanna jinx it or add any more pressure by talking about us being good enough to win the Super Bowl.”
I got that right?
Under-selling with the potential for over-delivering. For Jones, it’s a refreshing makeover.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.