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SportsPulse: Lorenzo’s been on a tear recently going 3-0 last weekend and 25-11 overall. So it’s probably a good idea to see what he has to say about Week 13.
FRISCO, Texas — Jerry Jones’ frustration in the wake of the Cowboys’ loss to the Patriots didn’t amount simply to shots fired in the heat of the moment.
The Cowboys owner has doubled down on his challenge to head coach Jason Garrett in the days since Dallas came up short 13-9 in New England, falling to 6-5 in a season in which Jones believes his talent should win more.
On Wednesday, appearing on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, Jones explained his stance toward Garrett, who is coaching in the final year of his contract.
“The bottom line is we get graded,” said Jones, also the team’s general manager. “I’m in business. I don’t have to win the Super Bowl in business every year. I can come in sixth and have a hell of a year. But in this business, you’ve got to come in first. You’ve got to come in first. So fundamentally, you’ve asked for something that’s a very narrow window to begin with.
“I want Jason to get it done.”
In 10 seasons as the Cowboys’ head coach, Garrett has won 83 of 147 regular-season games (56.5%) and claimed the NFC East crown three times. He won coach of the year honors in 2016. But he has not snapped the Cowboys’ 23-year conference championship berth drought.
At training camp, executive vice president Stephen Jones said he believes this Cowboys roster is more capable than Dallas’ 2018 group that lost to the Rams in the divisional round. And thus, the Joneses said, they expect their coach to advance further in the playoffs.
Instead, the Cowboys followed up a 3-0 start—the first in Garrett’s tenure—with three straight losses. Four of their five losses have come by 4 points or fewer. They have scored a first-quarter touchdown in just one of their last eight games. Dallas leads the league with 433.4 yards of offense per game. But the team hasn’t consistently played well enough on offense, defense and special—the biggest weak point in the loss to New England—to win close games.
Jones said Sunday the reason for the loss to New England was “glaring” while pointing to mistakes he believed directly reflected coaching errors. Cowboys players have since said they shoulder responsibility for poor execution, too.
“We’ve got to get some wins for Jerry,” linebacker Jaylon Smith said.
But the locker room hasn’t altered its mindset due either to loss or Jones’ criticism of Garrett. Some players, like cornerback Jourdan Lewis, simply insist their best defense of their coach is winning. Others, like wide receiver Amari Cooper, haven’t followed the banter.
“I haven’t been on social media, so that’s usually where you get all the news and stuff from,” Cooper said Wednesday. “I would say it’s always a sense of urgency to go out there and perform. It’s a meritocracy for a reason.”
Jones agrees. And he doesn’t believe, as the Cowboys prepare to host the 8-3 Bills on Thanksgiving afternoon, that holding his coach accountable is anything other than his job. He and Garrett want the same thing, Jones said: for coaches and players to execute to their ability.
“Let me tell you: No one in this country has earned the right to say, ‘I’m a Jason Garrett man,’ more than me,” Jones said. “I am his man.”
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