Jerry Jones famously said last summer that the window of opportunity was closing on the Dallas Cowboys. It became a stubborn narrative that followed the team well into the 2012 season.
After another 8-8 in Big D, the space provided in that metaphorical window isn't any bigger. Linebacker DeMarcus Ware -- in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII -- talked about the Cowboys' uncertain future on Thursday.
"We haven't been that consistent team that we need to be," Ware told ESPN Radio. "Everybody tells us the opportunity, the gate is closing, the door is closing. The door is always closing each year because it's a business deal to have certain guys on the team."
Ware has some prime years left, but he's coming off the most difficult season of his career. He underwent shoulder surgery recently, and might need an elbow procedure as well, according to ESPN. Ware played through those injuries, as well as a fractured wrist.
"I was being a warrior out there," he said.
Ware expressed disappointment by Jones' decision to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, though he praised new coordinator Monte Kiffin and the potential of his 4-3 scheme in which Ware is expected to move from linebacker to defensive end. Having just completed his eighth season, he knows changes are expected when a team doesn't get the job done.
"I can say we've been underachieving at times," he said. "We give it what we have. But I can say we haven't been that consistent team. I wouldn't say underachieving."
Whether they're inconsistent or underachieving, the Cowboys need to get better. Another down year and Jones will be tempted to blow up a team that's wrestled with mediocrity for too long.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.