Cowboys' Problem: 'Me-First' Players, Says Danny White

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - While the Dallas Cowboys themselves try to put a self-analytical finger on what ails the 2-5 franchise, former Cowboys quarterback Danny White believes he has the answer.

"In my opinion,'' said White, "they've got too many 'me-first' players and not enough 'team-first' players.''

This is an issue we've discussed in this space before, with us labeling this era of Cowboys as "#53Brands'' - players emphasizing their "brand'' (maybe not even fully-consciously) because the franchise so habitually emphasizes its brand.

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White, who starred for Dallas in "near-glory days'' - he QB'ed the team to three straight NFC title games during a 12-year career in which he backed up and then replaced Roger Staubach - is not taking shots from afar. In addition to being a Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl winner in Dallas, he's spent the last decade as the color man on Compass Media national radio broadcasts of Dallas games.

"When I played, with (team exec) Gil (Brandt) and coach (Tom) Landry, there was a huge emphasis placed on effort," White said in a Thursday visit with "K&C Masterpiece'' on 105.3 The Fan. "I think in the recent past the Cowboys have just not had enough of that type of mentality, that mental toughness ... Guys that refuse to lose. If we did lose, it was not any fun on the plane ride back from the game, or that whole week in practice, because we did not believe we were supposed to lose.''

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The Cowboys of past years certainly had color and personality and glitz, as this era's teams arguably have. But ... too many "me-first" players and not enough "team-first'' players, said White, 68.

The Cowboys remain known as a "premium franchise" but of course have not won a Super Bowls since the 1995 season.

White said this week's Cowboys' moves - the jettisoning of Everson Griffen, Daryl Worley and Dontari Poe - are steps in the right direction.

"You're seeing the Cowboys make some moves now that I applaud,'' he said. "They should have been made probably weeks ago to get those guys that are me-first players out of the locker room. Because that becomes a cancer. ... The really good players were being affected by the 'me-first' players.''

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