The loss of four-time All Pro DeMarcus Ware will make it tough for the Dallas Cowboys to keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles, but Jerry Jones isn't ready to concede the NFC East under the guise of a rebuilding effort.
"The firepower we have on offense and where we are with our running backs, and our receivers ... you don't rebuild with an offense that's got the capability we've got. We didn't bring (Scott) Linehan in here to rebuild."
Although Jones has great expectations for his offense, he acknowledges that the last-place defense is a question mark after Ware's untenable salary-cap hit forced the organization to "revamp the defensive line."
Jones is counting on a few key additions and the return to health of leading tackler Sean Lee to move Dallas to the "middle of the pack" among NFL defenses.
Criticized for loading up on big names and high salaries only to finish 8-8 in three consecutive seasons, Jones insists his approach has been a sound one.
"There is no question we pushed it to the hilt in the belief that this was the time to do it, a time when Romo was arguably at one of the highest times of his career," Jones explained. "When I look back over the last three years, that was the time to make the investment. And we did."
We take no issue with embracing a win-now philosophy while Romo is still one of the league's top dozen quarterbacks, but it was the organization's ill-advised contracts and poor handling of the salary cap that ultimately forced it to cut ties with Ware and Jason Hatcher.