When people refer to a Super Bowl “window” in football, it’s defined as a short period of time (a few years) where the roster and staff look capable of bringing home the Lombardi.
Many argue that the Cowboys’ window closed last season, after failing to win it all while QB Dak Prescott was on an affordable rookie contract.
Having a QB on a team-friendly rookie contract offers teams an advantage, as they are able to load the boats at other positions in a fashion now possible with a veteran QB eating up a larger chunk of the salary cap.
Winning it all with that discount QB advantage would have certainly been ideal, but it’s not by any means the only way.
The Cowboys’ window has just begun to open.
The Roster Is Primed and Largely Secured
For those who continue to argue that the Cowboys will be unable to put a quality roster on the field once Dak Prescott is paid he deserves, need to keep in mind that this season, Prescott carries the league’s highest cap charge at $31.41M thanks to the franchise tag. As far as 2020 is concerned, Dak Prescott is the league’s highest-paid player and look at the roster the Cowboys were still able to put around him.
Prescott’s arsenal is locked up. The Cowboys own the rights to Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Ezekiel Elliott through 2024. Blake Jarwin’s new deal keeps him a Cowboys through 2023. Tony Pollard is here through 2022, leaving Michael Gallup as the only item in the ammo room not secured long term, as his rookie deal expires after the 2021 season.
The right side of the line (Zack Martin, Lael Collins) is under contract through 2024. Health is a concern, but if he can last that long, LT Tyron Smith is on the books until 2023. Youngsters Tyler Biadasz and Connor McGovern figure to be cogs looking forward and are locked up through 2023, and 2022 respectively.
The defense is in rebuild mold and is a bit light on young playmakers. However, the major studs on that side of the ball are all secured. The Cowboys have LB Jaylon Smith through 2024, DE Demarcus Lawrence through 2023, and Leighton Vander Esch thru 2022 including his rookie option.
Among all of the Cowboys’ young, budding talent, Michael Gallup is the only guy who will be needing a contract any time soon. This roster’s core is about as locked up as it can be and let’s give credit to the Cowboys front office for consistently hitting big in the draft, especially in the early rounds. This roster is ready to make noise for a while, as long as the front office can secure it’s the quarterback.
Newer Coaches Win Super Bowls
Bill Belichick is a “one of one.” He is king and there are none like him. Rules, trends, patterns, none apply to the G.O.A.T. So leave him out of this discussion.
Belichick’s teams have won 6 of the Super Bowl’s this century. Of the remaining 14 NFL championships won this century by normal, mortal, human coaches, 12 have been won by coaches who have been on the job 5 years or less. If you apply the same god-exception the Nick Saban in college football, this trend rings true there as well.
Pete Carroll, Doug Pederson, Gary Kubiak, John Harbaugh, Tom Coughlin, Mike McCarthy, Tony Dungy, Mike Tomlin, Sean Payton, John Gruden, and Brian Billick all won their Super Bowls within their first 5 seasons with their respective teams. The most recent Super Bowl-winning coach, Andy Reid earned his ring in season 6 with the team. Tom Coughlin after winning it all in season 4, also took the confetti shower in season 8. Bill Cowher is the only true exception, as he won finally won Super Bowl XL in his 14th season with the Steelers.
The new coach bump is real, and there are reasons for it.
A new voice, with a new philosophy, usually cultivates new energy and focus. If you hire the right guy, you look around and find everyone bought in, and fully invested. This phenomenon usually wears off as time passes, and the staff’s message grows stale. Most Super Bowls are won while the coach still has everyone’s attention and trust.
Secondly, a new coach and staff break the familiarity teams have with your squad. Your division rivals especially have to learn how to prepare for you all over again. As we all know after a decade of Jason Garrett, predictability spells death in the NFL. That idea extends beyond just game day schematics. Teams get a feel for you on a philosophical level and learn what is in your team’s DNA. Success usually comes shortly after the switch up.
Dak Prescott Is About to Erupt
Ignore the inevitable if you so choose. The Cowboys absolutely have the right guy in their most important role. We have watched Dak Prescott grow every season, and there is nothing accidental about that fact. The Cowboys QB1 is a tireless worker. Not only with film, and mechanics, but all with preparing his body each offseason for a 16+ game collision course, something lost on his predecessors.
Every year he gets better. Each year he comes back and shows us that he has eviscerated a weakness, enhanced strength, or added a new tool to his bag altogether. There is no reason not to expect some more of that same, steady improvement this season, after a pretty outstanding 2019. The most exciting thing about the upcoming season is the fact that Prescott will be playing for a head coach who may actually maximize his talent, rather than shackle him when it matters most.
This just feels like Dak’s time to explode. The guy took hold of the locker room in his infancy, but he just feels so incredibly comfortable and entrenched as the leader of his team you can see it all over his face when he speaks. Our guy is out here building practice facilities at his home so he and his men can stay sharp during a pandemic.
Dak Prescott is not blind. He can look around and see he has been blessed with a rare array of weaponry. He knows he has a coach in Mike McCarthy who has already been to the hilltop and is eager to take him there. Dak Prescott always understands the moment, and this is clearly the time for he and his men to go secure a championship.
The Cowboys’ Super Bowl “window” is about to spring wide open, and mark me down for feeling quite confident that they will get the job done in the very near future.
Featured Image: ---