"They're a real inspiration of, frankly, what I had hoped that we were going to be," the Cowboys owner said last month, glowing over the Giants' ability to shake off a few bad outings and peak when it mattered most.
The Cowboys, of course, couldn't get out of their own way this season, and according to defensive end Jason Hatcher, Dallas suffers from a leadership void. Hatcher was asked this week who carries the torch for the Cowboys.
"Dude, I've got to be honest with you: That's a good question," Hatcher told KESN-FM, via FOXSports.com. "I really don't know. It's just another thing we really need. ... We don't have that. We've got the talent. We've got everything we need (except) a Ray Lewis. When Ray Lewis speaks, everybody listens to him. A guy like that, we really don't got that. I think we definitely need somebody like that."
Not exactly music to the ears of Tony Romo, the team's embattled quarterback, or any of the veterans on this roster. Hatcher's piercing commentary, however, might explain why the Cowboys continue to fall short of the high praise heaped upon "America's Team" each summer, only to fade by winter. No Super Bowl since January 1996, but you wouldn't know it from the press clippings.
Jones looks at the Giants and sees a gritty team that entered the fray minus the type of hype attached to Dallas. The results couldn't have been more different, and Hatcher's words hang in the air.
"You've got to have somebody hold you accountable," Hatcher said. "With a leader like (Lewis), everybody is accountable and guys arenât doing their own thing. (Lewis) is in there. Everybodyâs going in one direction. So once you have that, you'll be good. We're still looking for it."