IRVING, Texas --Emmitt Smith liked the direction of the Cowboys' draft, particularly their trade up for LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne in the first round. He noticed their flurry of free agent signings in March.
What will it all mean when the ball's in the air on Sept. 5 against the Giants? He's not sure yet. But he believes the league is "wide open" for the Cowboys to make a move if they buy in for 16 games.
"Everybody needs to buy into that. If they buy into that and what Jason Garrett and Rob (Ryan) and what everybody is preaching and coaching and stay focused for 19 weeks (counting playoffs), there's no telling where this team can go," Smith said. "The way I see it, the league is wide open.
"Every year, a unique team that comes together with the same type of enthusiasm and the same type of motivation, that builds up on those small itty-bitty things, are the teams that find themselves in the playoffs when all the odds are against them. It's an amazing thing to watch."
Last year's 49ers are probably the best example -- a 6-10 team with a new coach (Jim Harbaugh) that wound up dominating its division and reaching the NFC Title game.
"Now the work begins," Smith said. "We have a ways to go. Once training camp begins and you start watching the players really forge ahead and the team starts to come together, then you get a sense of the true talent that we actually have."