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The Cowboys added championship experience to hopeful title run

Lost among the glee of happy to see Jones Inc. finally active early in is an important point. Not only are they filling in positions of need, they're adding players who know how to win .

In the past quarter century, the Cowboys have had management in the that has won a title, three times in the 1990s. They've had head coaches and coordinators that have coached in and won Super Bowls too.

and have led teams to titles as the . was a for the Broncos' run in 1990.

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was 1-1 in Super Bowls as the Seahawks' defensive coordinator and was the Falcons' head coach for their 2017 Super Bowl run. Though he'd probably like to forget how that one played out.

Championship-Winning Players

But what the roster has lacked, for the most part, was players with rings on their fingers. Or at least who had won a conference championship game. That inexperience has proved costly over the past two decades.

In seven of just the last 20 seasons alone the Cowboys had a team that could have made it to the Super Bowl. They had the roster to win games, but they never quite got there.

A dropped pass here, a bad call there, or a blown assignment.

There was always something that kept the team from getting over the hump. Mostly it could be attributed to players not knowing how to win on the big stage.

A Sea Change

That all changed over the past week or so. The Cowboys have brought in three solid veterans. Not only have they improved the roster, they've added players who know what it takes to get to the next level.

played for both the and the in back-to-back Super Bowls (LII and LIII).

He ended up on the losing side both times, but they weren't blowouts by any stretch of the imagination.

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was also in back-to-back Super Bowls (LII and LIII) and both times for the Patriots. He walked off the field with a ring in 2019 (LIII).

With the Rams driving for the tying score late in the game, Gilmore picked off a pass intended for Cooks to seal the victory.

played for the Tampa Bay Bucs and the in Super Bowls LV and LVII. He comes to with two rings earned over the past three seasons.


All three players will contribute to the Cowboys throughout the . Cooks will likely be a WR2. Gilmore will play opposite at corner, and Jones will complement in the backfield.

But their most important contributions to the team will come in the postseason, should Dallas make it back for a third-straight year.

All three can show by example, and past , what it takes to advance deep into the .

Should the Cowboys find themselves in the Championship game, and , they have the rings on their fingers to show they know how to win these games. That might be the biggest takeaway Cowboys fans should have after this first week of free agency.

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli
Richard has covered sports at all levels - from local, prep, college, and professional - since 1984. He has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since 1969. Since retiring as a full-time sports writer in 2013, he has written and published several novels, two dozen short stories and two sports non-fiction books.

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