The Dallas Cowboys may have surprised some people with their play in the season opener, but the team has been preparing for a turnaround since this offseason. Amari Cooper relayed a story of Dak Prescott upgrading his own motivational speech to the receiver group during a summer practice. Cooper encouraged the receivers to move from good to great, but Prescott interrupted the star wideout emphasizing that the Cowboys want to be the best, not just great.
“He took it a step further,” Cooper explained, per DallasCowboys.com. “When I said we’re good, we’re trying to be great, he said ‘Nah, we’re not trying to be great, we’re trying to be the best.’”
Prescott on Great vs. Best: ‘You Can Be Great & Come Up Short’
After Cooper shared this anecdote, Prescott was asked to explain his thought process on the differences between being great versus the best. Prescott cited the Cowboys’ narrow loss to the Bucs as an example of being great but still coming up short.
“Yeah, I just stepped in when he [Cooper] was breaking down the receivers one day and heard him saying that, and I loved it,” Prescott noted in his Week 1 postgame press conference. “Just obviously, loved him holding them accountable, telling them that, ‘We’ve gotta go get the ball out of the air. We’re making good catches, but we gotta make great catches. We gotta take [it to] another level.’
“Then that went into, we have a signal-caller meeting pretty much every day, and I just brought that in there to all the skill positions and told them what Amari was speaking and said, ‘You can be great and come up short, right?’ I feel like that was what tonight was, it was a great effort but we came up short. And we want to be the best and the best is simply being better than the other guy day-in and day-out and being the best in the league. That’s the expectations that we have and those guys have. So, we’re just all going to hold each other to that.”
McCarthy: ‘Everything We Do Is About Winning the World Championship’
The Cowboys were not afraid to talk about lofty expectations heading into the season. During a team meeting shown on HBO’s Hard Knocks, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy echoed Prescott’s goal, emphasizing that it is Super Bowl or bust for Dallas.
“You’ve seen the schedule, 207 days until that Super Bowl,” McCarthy noted. “Everything we do is about winning the world championship, period. That’s all that matters, and once you hold that trophy up, I’m going to tell you right now, it’s heavier than you think. But when you hold it up, there ain’t nothing else in this business.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has also been adamant that the goal this season is to get back to a Super Bowl. It has been more than two decades since Dallas made the Super Bowl as the Cowboys topped the Steelers to emerge as the 1995 champions.
“I’d do anything known to man to get to a Super Bowl,” Jones said in July, per ESPN’s Todd Archer. “That’s a fact.”