Cowboys seek new recipe to erase bitter taste of 8-8

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Dallas Cowboys believe they have found “it.” No, not the Fountain of Youth to bring back the teams of the 1990s, but the “secret sauce” to build a new championship tradition.

“Obviously we feel like we have a great organization in the Cowboys, but we can always be better. We look for ways to be better,” Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said. “We do that both on the field and off the field. We’re convinced we’ve got the quote-unquote ‘secret sauce’ to ultimately put this thing back together again and win championships.”

The Cowboys have their longest championship drought in team history. It’s been 17 years, and counting, since their last title by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX.

They were 8-8 each of the past two seasons, losing the regular-season finale both years to miss the playoffs.

So will the Cowboys be better than 8-8 after changing defensive schemes and defensive coordinators and handing over play-calling duties to Bill Callahan?

“We certainly expect it to be,” Jones said. “We want people to be accountable. Our commitment when we started was no more 8-8s. I think we’ve got good personnel. I think we’ve got a great staff. I think we can do that. We need to stay healthy. We need to stay focused. We need to get better every day. And I think we’ll be better than 8-8.”

Roster moves

Jay Ratliff will miss at least the first six games as he continues his rehab from groin and hamstring injuries. The Cowboys placed the four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

It was one of 12 moves the Cowboys made Tuesday to reach the 75-player limit.

Dallas placed defensive end Tyrone Crawford (Achilles’ tendon) and center/guard Ryan Cook (back) on season-ending injured reserve.

The Cowboys waived receiver Anthony Amos, tight end Colin Cochart, guard Dennis Godfrey, receiver Jared Green, linebacker Deon Lacey, kicker Brett Maher, receiver Eric Rogers, quarterback Nick Stephens and cornerback Brandon Underwood.

Coach Romo not likely

Tony Romo might think like a coach, but he insists coaching is not in his future.

“I couldn’t imagine coaching,” Romo said Tuesday. “Those guys work incredibly hard. To me, it’s such an incredibly fun grind as a quarterback. I don’t ever envision not playing right now, so I can’t imagine ever thinking about it in any different way than playing the game.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show Tuesday that Romo has a mind like Sean Payton, which is a reason the Cowboys are comfortable giving Romo a bigger hand in the offense this season. Payton served as a Cowboys assistant from 2003-05 before becoming the Saints’ head coach. Romo signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2003.

“I think more than anything you just kind of get to the point where you understand the game at a certain level,” Romo said when told of Jones’ comments. “I think about the game very detailed. Little things matter tremendously as far as the outcome of plays — the releases, the differing things as far as where you want people on certain plays at what depth — and a lot of good coaches do that stuff. I just think you see it that way a little bit more when you get older.”

11 Days until the Cowboys’ season opener vs. the Giants,

7:30 p.m. Sept. 8, KXAS/5

Charean Williams 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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