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The 2022 marks the 27th straight that the Dallas Cowboys have not only failed to make it to the Super Bowl, but haven’t even sniffed the NFC Championship game. That has left owner, team president, and de facto general manager Jerry Jones with a list of excuses for that comparative long-term failure, but the one he came up with this week after his Cowboys were demolished by the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs is especially… well, half-weird.
“Anybody who thinks I won’t take a chance, has misread the tea leaves. But I do think longer term,” Jones recently said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “And I’m real hesitant to bet it all for a year. There’s a lot of things that can happen for that year. In essence, we’re seeing a couple of teams that have had some real success putting it all out there and paying for it later, in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
“That’s pretty impressive to have two teams in the last two years empty the bucket and get to the Super Bowl,” Jones said. “But if you miss, it is a long go.”
While Jones is right about the Rams’ “F them picks” strategy that won them Super Bowl LVI, he could not be more wrong about the ways in which Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and his staff have built a a team that is one game away from their second Super Bowl win in six years.
Yes, Roseman did trade his 2022 first-round pick to the Tennessee Titans for receiver A.J. Brown, but he did so knowing that Brown had signed a four-year, $100 million contract extension with $57.22 million in guarantees that makes Brown relatively reasonable, financially speaking. Brown, who also changed Philly’s offense decidedly for the better, ranks ninth among receivers in guaranteed money, and he’s entering the peak of his career at age 25.
Meanwhile, Roseman got an extra 2023 first-round pick from the New Orleans Saints in a 2022 pre-draft trade, which now has the Eagles picking 10th in the 2023 draft, no matter what happens in Super Bowl LVII next Sunday. And because 2022 was quarterback Jalen Hurts’ breakout season, the Eagles are in the always enviable position of being able to build around their quarterback’s rookie deal for at least the next year. hey do not have the fifth-year option because Hurts was a second-round pick in 2020, but it’s still a favorable landscape.
Going into the 2023 league year, per OverTheCap.com, the Eagles (-$1,239,378) are far less in the hole in terms of effective cap space than the Cowboys (-$10,091,623) are. And that’s with the fact that Roseman and his crew have built the NFL’s best-balanced roster.
Jones is a master of telling himself tales to make himself feel better about how things have gone for his team over the last nearly 30 years, but the truth is, that’s all this is when it comes to the Eagles and their roster architecture.
“I like where we are right now, more in the middle,” Jones concluded.
Without a better understanding of how things work in the NFL, that’s exactly where the Cowboys will stay.