Nine Years Ago We All Thought Ware, Phillips Were Winning a Super Bowl With Cowboys

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Tony Romo has his Super Bowl ring. Terrell Owens just got inducted into the Hall of Fame. Jerry Jones is an owner who hired a shrewd general manager. And Wade Phillips and DeMarcus Ware proudly won their championships … in Dallas.

That is, if only the Cowboys would have won the Super Bowl in the year they had their best chance since the ‘90s: 2007.

Watching Ware’s dominance and Phillips’ brilliant game plan lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl last Sunday reminded me about those two were big players on the Cowboys’ best team and best chance since The Triplets retired.

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That year, the Cowboys were loaded. Probably more so than these Broncos.

In Phillips’ pressure defense, Ware had 14 sacks and Greg Ellis produced 12.5. (DeMarcus Lawrence led this year’s 4-12 team with a measly eight.) In the secondary, Terence Newman and Roy Williams made the Pro Bowl. Safety Ken Hamlin had five interceptions and Jay Ratliff was a play-maker at nose tackle.

The Cowboys were good on defense, but on offense – with a coordinator named Jason Garrett – they were great.

Romo threw a career-high 36 touchdown passes, 15 of them to Owens. Tight end Jason Witten caught 96 passes and, led by Marion Barber and Julius Jones, they rushed for 1,746 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The Cowboys had all the pieces, even a Pro Bowl kicker in rookie Nick Folk.

I was at Texas Stadium on Nov. 29, 2007 and after watching the Cowboys beat the Packers in a showdown and improve to 12-1, I remember thinking they had a legit shot at winning the Super Bowl.

But then Owens and co-receiver Terry Glenn suffered leg injuries that limited their bursts. Romo and Witten took a weekend jaunt to Cabo during their bye week of the playoffs and, sure enough, the Giants waltzed into Irving and beat them, 21-17 to end their season.

To this day, Jones calls it the most disappointing loss of his career.

To win the Super Bowl that year the Cowboys would have had to beat an undefeated New England Patriots team that clobbered them by 21 in Texas Stadium in the regular season. But, alas, we know the Giants did it.

Now nine years and seemingly a million lifetimes ago, Ware and Phillips finally won their rings. And the Cowboys are merely excited about having the 4th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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.

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