ARLINGTON, Texas – “This is not the time.”
After the Cowboys walked off the AT&T Stadium field on the wrong end of a 26-15 Thanksgiving Day loss to the Buffalo Bills, Dallas owner and general manager Jerry Jones addressed reporters with tears in his eyes and quickly put any thoughts that head coach Jason Garrett would be fired to rest.
“I have [tears] because I’ve just been in a very emotional locker room with a lot of other guys that are emotional,” Jones said. “I know Jason very well. I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to spend a football life with him. There’s no doubt about it, nobody wants Jason to go. But I know the room. I see the room. I’m the one that ‘okayed’ and put the coaches in that room. I believe in this group. That’s something that causes you to check. It causes you to reach deep and find out what you’re thankful for.”
With their third loss in the last four games, the Cowboys drop to 6-6 on the season, just a half-game ahead of the Eagles for the NFC East division lead with four games to play. Philadelphia will take on the Dolphins in Miami this Sunday afternoon.
Jones knows that a prime opportunity to further cement Dallas’ grip on the division slipped away.
“This is disappointing,” Jones said. "Before we started this game today, we said that this team was going to be tough to beat. Buffalo is a good team. We certainly got the momentum, the wind taken out of us in the back part of that second quarter, and we just didn’t get it back. They got it done.”
Dallas has two games -- at the Bears, and at home against the Rams -- before they square off against the Eagles on Dec. 22 in a game that will likely decide the NFC East champion.
Jones has not lost his faith that his team can finish the job, “For me, I’m looking ahead to another ballgame. I’m looking ahead to winning four or five straight and helping to write a story about how we were down and out and got it done. That’s the way that I’m operating. Every decision that I make over the next month will be with an eye in mind to get us to a Super Bowl now.”
The Cowboys will travel to Soldier Field to face the Bears next Thursday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:20 p.m.