Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach talks to current quarterback Tony Romo during practice at the Silver and Blue Debut, in Arlington on August 22, 2013. (Michael Ainsworth/DMN)
ARLINGTON – Legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach isn’t down on his former team despite back-to-back 8-8 seasons and a three-season playoff drought.
In fact, Staubach feels even better about this season’s team than he did last year’s.
Almost a year to the day, Staubach predicted the Cowboys would make the playoffs last season and finish either 11-5 or 10-6. And this time around?
“We can be 11-5 in a second with a little luck and keeping people healthy, maybe 12-4,” Staubach said Thursday night at AT&T Stadium. “And I think we’d take 10-6 right now, wouldn’t we? You just want to get in the playoffs.”
Staubach was among several Cowboys alumni to watch the team practice for two hours Thursday night in the team’s only open practice in Texas. Others included fellow Pro Football Hall of Famers Mel Renfro and Rayfield Wright and Ring of Honor members Cliff Harris, Lee Roy Jordan and Charles Haley. A crowd of 10,234 watched the players practice without pads after paying $10 for parking.
The Cowboys alumni attended a dinner with the players and coaches at the stadium after the practice. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett asked Harris to address the team.
Staubach said the Cowboys have upgraded the offensive line – he really likes rookie center Travis Frederick – and if they can improve their running game should post a winning record for the first time since 2009.
Oh, and Staubach is still an unabashed Tony Romo fan.
“If there’s a bigger Romo fan in town, I don’t know who it is,” Staubach said. “I want to argue with all my negative Romo fans and tell them how great this guy is. He makes plays. He’s got a strong arm, and he just does a lot of good things out there that only a few quarterbacks in the league can do.”
Staubach spent some time Thursday throwing passes to one of Romo’s favorite targets: wide receiver Dez Bryant.
“They weren’t quite as hard as Tony Romo’s but I was having some fun,” Staubach said. “If he stays healthy, there won’t be a better receiver in the league than Dez Bryant. I was throwing to him tonight, so I tested him out. He’s a great receiver.”