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Jerry's 'Hunger' For Title Is Greater Than Ever


INDIANAPOLIS – Jerry Jones has always lived his life with the hunger to accomplish more. That's how you become a Pro Football Hall of Famer and among the most powerful people in sports and business.

Five days after his 30th anniversary of purchasing the Dallas Cowboys franchise, Jones acknowledged it's "more urgent" than ever to deliver another Super Bowl to Cowboys Nation.

"This is my 30th (NFL Scouting) Combine, and I don't have 30 more," the 76-year-old Cowboys owner/general manager said Saturday from Indianapolis.

"There is absolutely nothing, short of the health and goodwill of the people I care about, there's nothing that means more to me than if I could get a Super Bowl. Nothing," he added during a 50-minute interview with Dallas-area reporters.

The Cowboys believe they're positioned to compete for a championship. With one of the NFL's youngest rosters, they rebounded from a 3-5 start to win the NFC East last season. With the exception of Pro Bowl pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence and wide receiver Cole Beasley, most of their top players are under contract at least through next season.

But January's divisional-round playoff loss to the L.A. Rams was disappointing. Consistent playoff appearances are no guarantee in a parity-driven league. The Cowboys have not made consecutive postseasons since 2006-2007.

And, through a broader prism, Jones admits it's "stunning" to think the organization has not been in a Super Bowl since the 1995 season "with what we commit and what we do to win Super Bowls." Perhaps his greatest disappointment in the last 30 years is not winning a title during Tony Romo's prime.

Now, led by two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott, a young Cowboys nucleus has gotten valuable early playoff experience. Jones says it's time to capitalize on that.

"We got a lot of reps out of these guys last year in key situations," he said. "Then you look at our quarterback, you look at (running back) Zeke (Elliott), these guys are seasoned. We need to grab this while it's here. It won't be here forever."

Make no mistake, Jones still believes head coach Jason Garrett is the man to lead a talented young roster. Garrett is entering the final year of his contract, but Jones reiterated his support and says there's mutual trust in working toward collective team goals.

"I do my best work without a net. I really do," Jones said. "I'm better with a little risk involved. In essence, there's a little bit of no net here.

"He (Garrett) is not in danger of having any issue with his credibility with his players or anybody else. It's well known, the support I have for him. No one breathing wants him to win and win big more than I do, and we haven't done anything here with what we have done or haven't done relative to contract. We haven't done anything to forego having a long relationship. We haven't done one thing, by taking our position that we have right now, in my mind. And we've got the kind of situation that I think our fans want.

"Hopefully that can come together, we get him a Super Bowl and he'll be maybe the longest-tenured coach in the history of the Cowboys."

So, how do they take the next step? One way, Jones said, is "fresh, new ideas" from a staff of assistants that looks much different than 12 months ago at the end of the 2017 season.

This offseason's major staff change is first-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore replacing veteran play-caller Scott Linehan. Jones anticipates a fresh approach that will add "flexibility" and make the offense "harder to guard."

The overall goal is clear.

Jones has never wanted to cross that hurdle more than now, in 2019.

"I admire people who have got enough to quit being hungry or quit having something they want to have and they've got it and they have peace. I've never been there," he said. "My point is, the hunger is for what we're talking about right now – winning a Super Bowl. Not to get another billion dollars."