Dallas Cowboys

What wagon trains, the Mississippi River and California have to do with Jerry and the Super Bowl

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn’t exactly say ‘Super Bowl.’

He was careful about putting that monkey on the shoulders of this young team.

But he also didn’t shy away from the question.

Jones didn’t blink when asked if the Cowboys, fresh off a wild-card win against the Seattle Seahawks and now playing at the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional playoffs Saturday, were capable of winning the Super Bowl for the first time in 23 years.

“We are capable of beating any team that we line up against,” Jones said. “If we can get there our team can beat the teams that are out there. Some of them got better records. But yeah, I think we are capable of winning the game.”

To win the game, the Cowboys have to get to the game.

That means they have to beat the Rams on the road and advance to the NFC title game for the first time since their last Super Bowl title in 1995.

And that will also likely be on the road, though Jones is admittedly rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys NFC East rival, to upset top-seeded New Orleans and put the NFC title game at AT&T Stadium if Dallas wins in Los Angeles Saturday.

But Jones believes they can win on the road despite a 3-5 record away from home in 2018. The Cowboys started the season 0-4 on the road before winning three of their last four.

He said team’s physical style on offense and defense should travel well in the playoffs.

“I think we’re physical,” Jones said. “Our defense is physical. I think our offense is physical. We’ve had road experience. We’ve had some tough hands on the road this year. They didn’t like that we went to school and made all A’s. Seriously, we’ve had some really good experience as to how to be better on the road. I think our adversity on the road, which most of the time in football it does, can help us on the road.”

That Jones and the Cowboys are even in the discussion of competing for a Super Bowl is a surprise after starting the season 3-5.

But Jones said the team’s journey is part of their story, not unlike Cowboys’ title teams of the past while comparing it to the cross country wagon train rides of a time gone by.

Although the Super Bowl is in Atlanta, Jones said he is just trying to get the team to “California.”

“The Cowboys have a history of having some average records then coming on and really having some fine teams,” Jones said. “It’s just a journey. It’s been described as a marathon. You’re going to have times when you’re going to have to reinvent the wheel during a season.

“It’s like the old wagon train. We’re going to burn some of these wagons on the way to California, break them down and float the Mississippi River. A lot of people are going to die. But I’m going to make it to California. I hope you’re on the train with me. That’s kind of the way you look at a football team. We’ve got a lot of guys that can make it to California, I think.”

Clarence E. Hill Jr. :@clarencehilljr
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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.