Tight end Jason Witten did the Dallas Cowboys right of Super Bowl passage on Wednesday.
Considering the franchise has not made it the big game since 1995, players usually trip to the Super Bowl for personal or business reasons and end up making the rounds on radio row talking about what went wrong and why next year will potentially be better.
Witten made it clear that he believes in this Cowboys team, despite the 9-7 finish in 2017. He is committed to returning for a 16th season in 2018 when he will be 36 years old.
He said the same thing after the season and has not wavered in the interim.
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“I'm coming back,” Witten said. “I feel confident I can play the position at a high level still and all the things that are asked of me as a leader. I feel good about that.”
And Witten says he feels good about the Cowboys bouncing back in 2018. He said the team facing tough decisions and looking introspectively at itself. But he says the ultimately have the right people in place to get the job done.
“I like our team. I think the core is good. We have to evaluate and be better. We were 9-7. Two or three of those games could have gone either way. But you have to understand what is going on. Offensively, we didn't play as well as we needed to play down the stretch and that hurt us. We have to look at ourselves and play better. We have the right guys. You have to be self-confident and be self-critical. I believe in the group. It's a good football team.”
Roughly three years after the controversial Dez Bryant catch/no catch in the Cowboys’ loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional playoffs, the NFL still doesn’t know what a catch is.
The league has certainly added to the confusion by constantly tinkering with the rule and fostering phrases like “the ball must survive the ground.”
But it hasn’t created any clarity for players, officials and the fans.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has now decided to take the novel approach of basically starting from scratch and taking a fresh look at the rule with the competition committee this year.
“A lot of focus this off-season is going to be on the rulebook — the catch, no catch rule, officials are officiating that correctly,” Goodell said. “There will be a lot of focus on going to the ground. We have a great opportunity to get it right.”
Goodell says he wants the competition committee to essentially start from scratch on a revised catch rule this off-season.
“From our standpoint, I would like to start back, instead of adding to the rule, subtracting to the rule, to start over again and look at the rule fundamentally from the start because I think when you add or subtract things you can still lead to confusion,” Goodell said.
“These rules are very complex. You have to look at what the unintended consequences are of making a change. I think we can clarify this rule. We can do it with a lot of hard work and focus and get to a place where I'm not going to tell you there won't be controversy, but I believe that we can get to a much better place.”
A better place still won’t change that outcome of the Packers game and legitimize the Bryant catch that wasn’t.