Brad Sham, the voice of the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network, talked with 105.3 The Fan’s Shan and R.J. on Tuesday afternoon. Here are some highlights:
On what Cowboy fans’ expectations should be based on the first four games:
I would recommend that people not have any expectations of the Cowboys. I was thinking about this two weeks ago after I saw the Steelers and the Colts, and looked at the problems that the Steelers were having with the offensive line. And I started thinking to myself, “How many teams in this league really know what they are?” I don’t think it’s more than three or four. I think Green Bay knows exactly what they are, and I think Baltimore knows what they are. I think New England thinks they know what they are, but I’m not sure about that because they’ve had some defensive problems. … But the rest of them, I think even a quarter of the way into the season, are still trying to figure out exactly who they are and what they’ve got. And in the Cowboys’ case, I think it’s harder to answer than it is with a lot of others because of the people who have missed games or been playing at less than half capacity. You’re a different team when you have your players, and it’s going to be really interesting to see if they’re just an average team putting in a year, getting better by getting experience and loading up for the future.
On fans who say the Cowboys should always have high expectations:
My response would be, “Retrain yourself.” We don’t know yet. We don’t have enough information.
On whether the best teams should have an identity by the fourth game of the year:
Did you think, beginning the year, that the Cowboys were one of the best teams in the league? I didn’t either. I thought they were a team that had a chance to compete for a playoff spot. I still think that. Tell me, what’s the identity of the Atlanta Falcons? They were one of the teams that were thought to be a shoo-in for the playoffs and maybe a Super Bowl contender before the year. And I’m saying to you, whether you want to hear it or not, that there about three teams in the league that have an identity. You may not like that, but that’s what the NFL has created.
A team’s expectations for itself – unless they are really, really low, which you never want to say – are always going to differ with what public and media expectations are, and I don’t think we should have expectations for the Cowboys. I don’t think we have enough information.
On how he looks at the Patriots:
I’m looking at the Patriots as a team that can score about a thousand points if they want to. Here is what’s intriguing to me: one of the worst games they had last year was against the Browns. I only know two things. One is, I know the Cowboys’ defensive coaching staff will be respectful but feel confident in its ability to gum up the Patriots’ works because of what the Browns did last year with Rob Ryan and Matt Eberflus. And based on talking to the players late in the week last week, they’re looking forward to playing the game. It might be ugly, and you were talking about expectations, I wouldn’t have real high expectations about going in there and knocking New England all over the lot. But those players will think that they have a great chance to win the game, and that’s where it starts.