Jerry Jones has gotten himself into trouble before by making predictions about the Cowboys' record. The owner has learned that lesson the hard way, so he won't make any firm declarations.
In general, though, the goals are the same every year. With a little upheaval on the offensive line, a healthy Tony Romo and a coaching change defensively, Jones is hoping the 2011 Cowboys can live up to what was widely expected of the team in 2010.
"I think you've got to walk before you run," Jones said. "You guys put it in my mouth last year that I was talking about a Super Bowl . . . Our goal is to put ourself in a position to get to compete for one.
"I'm hopeful that we'll have the team in the situation after 16 games that we thought we were going to have last year, all of us. And I was surprised and disappointed at how we messed it up last year."
The Cowboys' hopes for success in 2010 dried up quickly, as the team got off to a horrendous start, the record snowballing to 1-7 before Wade Phillips was replaced as head coach by Jason Garrett. Seeing how things got out of hand early last year, Jones believes a fast start out of the gate is crucial.
"I'm very hopeful that we'll come out positive," Jones said. "If anything, last year shows me that you can get it going the wrong way and it's, 'Well, here we go again,' in a negative way. I have been a part of teams that when you get it going the positive way, you say we're just a play away from turning this thing around and winning it.
"So there's no question slow starts call upon men and women to have to gather it up and be better than fast starts. And so I would like for us to be a fast start, and we all would. It's very meaningful."