We learned today that Cowboys center Andre Gurode was named to the Pro Bowl, replacing Olin Kreutz of the Chicago Bears. That means that seven members of a 9-7 Cowboys team are going to Hawaii.
Gurode is one of four players making his first Pro Bowl appearance, along with Tony Romo, Mat McBriar and DeMarcus Ware. Flozell Adams and Jason Witten are going back for the third time, while this will be the fourth straight appearance for safety Roy Williams.
Gurode started all 16 games this season at center, after playing mainly guard during his previous four seasons with the Cowboys. He is one of seven unrestricted free agents the Cowboys have heading into the off-season.
He becomes the fourth center in Cowboys history to make the Pro Bowl, along with Dave Manders, Mark Stepnoski and Ray Donaldson.
In 1993, the Cowboys sent 11 players to Hawaii following their 30-13 win over Buffalo in Super Bowl XVIII in Atlanta. Perhaps you can see where I’m going with this…
You probably already know that Bears’ defensive coordinator Ron Rivera arrived in Texas on Tuesday to interview for the Cowboys’ head coaching job. The Cowboys are also scheduled to interview Colts’ assistant Jim Caldwell. You can read more here.
What caught my attention, though, was the Dallas Morning News article focusing on how former quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman wanted the Cowboys to find a winner.
Hall of Fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach are like any other Cowboys fan: They’re eagerly awaiting word on a new coach.
The two former Super Bowl MVPs were at Staubach’s office Monday, discussing football and stock car racing as their NASCAR team, Hall of Fame Racing, enters its second season of Nextel Cup competition.
Both want the Cowboys to find the coach who can deliver postseason success and a return trip to the Super Bowl. And both agree that Dallas has the talent to again join the ranks of the NFL elite.
“It’s a playoff team now with high-caliber players,” Aikman said. “Anyone in this job is taking over a playoff team, and if they don’t win in the playoffs, it will be viewed as a failure. It’s a good job for somebody, but a tough job.”
When asked about Norv Turner, Aikman heaped praise on his former offensive coordinator.
“I think there were circumstances that kept him from having more success as a head coach in Oakland and Washington,” said Aikman, who chose Turner as his presenter when inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I think in the right situation, he can be successful. I think it would be great for the organization and great for Norv.”
Staubach met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over Super Bowl weekend and said the two talked generally about the search. Staubach stressed the importance of X’s and O’s and the ability to hire a good staff.
“I think there’s enough talent now to have a good ending to this decade,” Staubach said. “This will be the first decade we haven’t [won] in the playoffs if we don’t do something.”
The Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game since 1996 and are in the third week of their search for a replacement for Bill Parcells. Aikman said Jones made the right choice four years ago in hiring Parcells, who Aikman said improved a Cowboys organization that was in “total disarray.”
“As a former player, I’d like to see the Cowboys have success,” Aikman said. “I think for those of us that were a part of helping build something here, we’d like to see it continue.”