Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is known for talking big and making bold predictions.
Every year, it has seemed, Jones has made a Super Bowl-type prediction about his team.
But Jones is tapping the brakes on that sort of talk this season even though most fans feel it’s a Super Bowl-or-bust type of season. The Cowboys’ surprise playoff run last season has the rejuvenated fan base believing this year’s team could break what has become a 20-year championship drought.
“Maybe it’s being exceptionally realistic,” Jones said on his KRLD/105.3 FM radio show. “I know we’ve had some years where [quarterback Tony] Romo has really played well and we didn’t get there. Last year was one of them. Boy, when you have that kind of year out of you and still leave some out there, then you realize how tough this is to get done, not that it’s impossible to get done.
“Well, I think in the last five or six years, I’ve said ‘Super Bowl’ a few times, so let’s do this by deduction.”
Jones went on to say that he also gets tired of being criticized for his bold statements, especially if a “Super Bowl season” turns into an 8-8 campaign. Those years aren’t too far in the past.
“I do feel that when we start our season ... under this set of circumstances, most of the time we’ve got a chance to compete,” Jones said. “Now, there have been some, of all the ones, last year as you know, I really thought that we needed to dial our expectations back.
“The main thing I want to do, though, is really remind that yes, I’m close to it. I’m right there. And if anybody knows whether we ought to be a Super Bowl contender or not, then I ought to know it. But by its very nature, that’s such a speculation. That’s such an estimate of so many variables having to come together.”
Dustin Vaughan remembers the nerves from a year ago on cutdown day.
The Cowboys hadn’t kept a third quarterback in recent years, and Vaughan hoped he’d shown enough as an undrafted rookie out of West Texas A&M to make them keep one.
It turned out, Vaughan had done enough to justify a spot on the 53-man roster as the team’s third quarterback. This year is no different for Vaughan.
“There will be nerves,” Vaughan said. “There will be just that anticipation of hopefully having another year with the Dallas Cowboys. I think that’s what everybody wants when they’re here. That’s when they start OTAs, minicamp, training camp. You want to be on this team.
“A lot of people say you’re trying out for the other 31 teams in the NFL, and you are, but everybody wants to be on this team. It’s a big deal having the star on your helmet, and that’s what you really want. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Vaughan, 24, has had an inconsistent training camp and preseason. Through three preseason games, Vaughan has completed 24 of 47 passes for 228 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Cowboys trimmed their roster to 75 on Tuesday, cutting wide receivers David Porter (TCU) and Antwan Goodley (Baylor).
They also cut right end Brandon Barden and linebacker Jonathan Brown, and waived/injured defensive end Kenneth Boatright, offensive tackle R.J. Dill and running back Michael Hill.
Other moves included putting offensive lineman Chaz Green on the physically unable to perform list, cornerback Orlando Scandrick on injured reserve, and linebacker Mark Nzeocha on the non-football injury list.
11Days until season opener vs. Giants,
7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, KXAS/5