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Success must come sooner rather than later for these teams

September 3, 2012
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



Jerry Jones passes up an opportunity to speak his mind about as often as a casino junkie walks past a slot machine without giving it a spin. So here was Jones, in Atlanta last May for the spring NFL owners meetings, talking candidly to the NFL Network about the state of his Cowboys.

"Well, my window is getting shorter. Time goes by," the Dallas owner said. "I do feel real pressure because we do have players not only in [quarterback] Tony Romo, but [tight end] Jason Witten [and linebacker] DeMarcus Ware, to leave out several that are [also] in the prime of their career. And we need to strike and strike soon with those guys."

A lot of time has passed since the Cowboys last made waves in the playoffs, with two wins in the last 16 years. In the NFL, that's an eternity. They have gone two seasons in a row without getting to the postseason, which must have Tom Landry and Tex Schramm rolling over in their coffins.

Jones' point was that Romo, Witten, Ware, et al aren't going to be around forever. They each have only so much prime playing time left -- Witten suffered a lacerated spleen in the team's first preseason game that could keep him out of Wednesday night's NFL season opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Giants -- to help the Cowboys win a Super Bowl. Although Jones backed off the closing window analogy when training camp opened in late July, he still acknowledged that he felt a sense of urgency to win now.

The Cowboys hardly are the only team whose window of opportunity is shrinking. Here are five other teams that need to strike sooner than later.



Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/dennis_dillon/08/31/nfl-2012-windows-closing/index.html#ixzz25PrRkT1R


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