Jones’ bold prediction: Cowboys will compete

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admits he’s an eternal optimist. The glass always is full … of lemonade. The sun always rises … at the end of the tunnel. He sees the world through blue-colored glasses.

Super Bowl hopes always spring eternal in Dallas.

And so it was that Jones was making another season prediction on his radio show Tuesday.

He did not predict a Super Bowl trip, which he has been known to do, but he said he expects his team to “compete” this season.

Jones points out that although the Cowboys haven’t been to the playoffs since 2009, they played for the NFC East title in the regular-season finales each of the past two seasons.

“If you look at the fact that these teams are pretty equal in the NFL, and you look at where we are, you know we can compete,” Jones said during his appearance on KRLD/105.3 FM. “We really can compete. Now, will injury decimate that? Will injury impact that? Who knows? The bottom line is we can compete.

“We’ve competed with a lot of the players that we’ve got right now. Over the last two years, a lot of people would say, ‘I don’t call 8-8 competing.’ They’d be justified in saying that. But we were real close there, getting down to the end of the year. We were close to getting in the tournament and doing some good things. Now, ‘maybe’, ‘close’, ‘hopes’, all those things, they’re hard to chew after you sit back and look back at it after the season’s over. That’s what we’re trying to reverse.”

The Cowboys now have their longest championship drought in team history. It’s been 17 years, and counting, since their last title. They are 140-141, including a 2-7 postseason record, since their last championship season of 1995.

Injury updates

Defensive tackle Sean Lissemore returned to individual work Tuesday after missing eight days of practice with a groin injury. He said he will play Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Lissemore was one of three defensive players injured Aug. 11. Linebacker Ernie Sims (groin) and defensive back Eric Frampton (calf) have yet to return, though Sims is hopeful of getting back to practice this week. Frampton said he still has not started running.

The Cowboys lost rookie linebacker Brandon Magee to a concussion during Monday’s practice. Magee, who played 30 defensive plays and five special teams plays last week against the Arizona Cardinals, will miss Saturday’s game against the Bengals.

Bell loses 22 pounds

Demetress Bell was 350 pounds when the Cowboys signed him July 21. Coach Jason Garrett called him “overweight” and “out of shape,” and the Cowboys put Bell in their version of The Biggest Loser.

Bell, 29, has lost 22 pounds, with hopes of getting down to the 315-318 range.

The Cowboys believe Bell, whom they see as a developmental player despite his four years of experience, is worth the time and effort they have invested in him.

“They’ve stuck with me,” Bell said Tuesday. “I can’t say nothing bad about the Cowboys. They brought me in. They brought me out to training camp, held me out three weeks and worked me out. You can’t say much more than that. It sounds like they love me. I’ve just got to do my job, do my part to stick.”

Bell is playing right tackle for the Cowboys after playing left tackle his entire career, contending for a roster spot as a backup swing tackle. He played 25 plays against the Cardinals on Saturday and admits he was “all over the place.”

“Some plays are all right, and the next play is all over the place,” said Bell, who started 24 games in three years with the Buffalo Bills before sitting on the bench last season in Philadelphia. “People say I looked comfortable, but I don’t think I was comfortable at all. ... I’ve just got to get comfortable with the system and comfortable with my position. It’s football, just on the other side.”

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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