Is 2023 the true title-or-bust season for the Dallas Cowboys? Team owner/general manager Jerry Jones isn’t saying that. But he's inching ever so closely to that line of thought with another season of heavy expectations approaching.
Since their last NFC Championship game appearance in 1996, the Cowboys have built teams that sustainably win in the regular season but are a step or two below the cream of the crop. The 2023 team contains many of the same players from last year's squad, which won 12 games and had the fifth-best point differential in the NFL.
Jones, in a yet-to-be-aried conversation with ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown show, said that there are parts of the team that are “in as good shape as we've ever been in” since he took over in 1989, according to Todd Archer of ESPN. He did not commit to the idea that this year's squad has to win it all in order to stay together in the future.
“You ask me, ‘Is winning the Super Bowl imperative without blowing this team up?’ And I say, no, it is not.” Jones said, via ESPN.
The Cowboys have a roster good enough to compete with the best of the best. Micah Parsons is a Swiss army knife on defense and one of the best defenders in football. Dak Prescott, despite his many shortcomings, is one of the better quarterbacks and has stars around him like Tony Pollard and CeeDee Lamb.
“I feel strongly that we should aspire and, frankly, do anything at any time that can make us better right now to compete at that level,” Jones said, via ESPN. “I think I'm saying a lot when I say that. This isn't about years in the future. The good news is you can make the decisions that can help you right now first and foremost but can also be additive for the future. Those are the ones I'm looking for and trying to compromise on every day.”
The Cowboys' 2023 campaign begins in MetLife Stadium, where they will face the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football.