Lost among the glee of Cowboys fans happy to see Jones Inc. finally active early in free agency is an important point. Not only are they filling in positions of need, they're adding players who know how to win championships.
In the past quarter century, the Cowboys have had management in the front office 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.
Bill Parcells and Mike McCarthy have led teams to titles as the head coach. Wade Phillips was a defensive coordinator for the Broncos' Super Bowl run in 1990.
Dan Quinn 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.
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.
Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks played for both the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams 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.
Defensive Back Stephon Gilmore 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.
Running Back Ronald Jones played for the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowls LV and LVII. He comes to The Star with two rings earned over the past three seasons.
SHOWING HOW TO GET The Job Done
All three players will contribute to the Cowboys throughout the regular season. Cooks will likely be a WR2. Gilmore will play opposite Trevon Diggs at corner, and Jones will complement Tony Pollard 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 experience, what it takes to advance deep into the playoffs.
Should the Cowboys find themselves in the NFC Championship game, and Super Bowl LVIII, 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.