For nearly a decade, the linebacker has had an up close and personal view of the hype machine in action. No matter how the previous season turns out, many experts point to the Cowboys as a Super Bowl contender the following year. As one of the most prominent football teams in the country, run by the most visible owner in Jerry Jones, perhaps it's inevitable.
This year is no different, as a head-coaching regime in its first full season and the return of a healthy Tony Romo have some predicting big things in Big D.
James has heard this buzz before, but he believes the Cowboys have culture issues within the organization that keep them from success.
"I think the entitlement kills us," James told FOXSports.com in a story posted Monday. "Our alumni, our former greats have made us America's Team and we reap benefits that we haven't earned -- all the way around, as individuals, as a team. Those guys earned it. We just think we deserve it."
It's a candid opinion for James to share, but is it true? Success, especially in the playoffs, certainly has been fleeting. The Cowboys have only one postseason victory to their credit in the past 15 years.
"It's about putting down a foundation," linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. "We have everything at the top, but what is holding it at the bottom? You have to have something holding it together, and that is what we are working at."
Ware's comment is a not-so-subtle jab at how the Cowboys have been constructed in recent years, loading up on marquee names while neglecting less glamorous areas of the roster. The finger could be pointed at Jones, who in addition to his ownership role acts as the team's general manager.
James, 30, acknowledged that when he came out of LSU, he believed he'd have "at least two" Super Bowl rings to his name by now. Instead, he patiently waits.
"I've been on three of the most talented teams I have ever played on and hadn't gotten it," James said. "You are asking why and what is missing. What I am telling you is we will find out when we go earn ours."