OXNARD, Calif. – The reporter hadn't yet finished his question about the Cowboys' 2015 goals when Jason Witten cut in.
"It's the championship. Yeah," the veteran tight end said. "Winning a Super Bowl. Thirty-one other teams have the same goal, too.
"I'm not afraid to say it, but it's silly to talk about it. It'd be foolish for me, a 13-year veteran talking about playing in the Super Bowl. It's about building your team, being the best player you can be right now in training camp."
Witten clearly aches for that opportunity. At 33 years old, with nine Pro Bowls on his résumé, there isn't much left for him to prove.
But he also knows better than to cavalierly throw around 'Super Bowl' for a couple of reasons:
First, it's July 31. There's a long, long way to go, even for a team that finished 12-4 last year.
Second, Witten has made the playoffs five times in 12 seasons and reached the Divisional Round three times. He knows how much sacrifice, how much good fortune, and how much teamwork it takes just to play in January, much less February.
"I don't want that to go as if we're just trying to make the playoffs," he continued. "We know what our ultimate goal is. We just choose to focus on other things to allow us to get there. But that's Line One: build your team to be able to compete in those situations to play in that game. If it's not, you need to leave now."[embeddedad0]
By far, Witten and quarterback Tony Romo are the longest-tenured players on the Cowboys' roster. Over the last several years the Cowboys have infused the roster around them with youth and new talent.
Witten says he's proud to be part of group that's committed to working daily to compete at the highest level.
So what keeps driving him?
Isn't it obvious?
"I think we all know that," he said. "I want to be the best. I want to be a part of a team that's about that."