ARLINGTON, Texas -- After his team's third straight loss by 20 or more points, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones met with players and coaches in the locker room Thursday. But it was not to threaten the jobs of players and coaches.
Jones acknowledged that the Cowboys "are not a good team right now" after the 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at AT&T Stadium, but he backed the players, coach Jason Garrett and the rest of the staff.
"It definitely was a message of support," veteran defensive end Tyrone Crawford said. "He told us just to sit back and take a look at ourselves, take a look at what is around us and see how blessed we are on this Thanksgiving Day. Just to go into next week knowing that we're super blessed to be in this position and take advantage of it."
"I really do believe in the old San Francisco [gold miner], right before the next pick, the guy that came behind him found it all. So I think you keep going."Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones
At 5-6, the Cowboys are virtually locked out of repeating as NFC East champions and likely will need to win their final five games and receive help from several teams to qualify for a wild card.
It's a stunning fall from where they were a year ago, when the Cowboys were 10-1 after 11 games. It has been a precipitous drop from their 5-3 mark at the midway point of this season.
"I think you have players that have played at high levels and won games," Jones said. "But the answer [to whether the team can turn things around] is yes, as long as you have a breath to get into the playoffs. We had the Giants come up the backside here and beat the top seed. They won the whole thing five, six, seven years ago. That's what is great about this game."
Jones was careful with his words regarding the future of Garrett, the Cowboys' permanent head coach since 2011, and the rest of the staff.
"I don't want to look like they're getting the proverbial endorsement," Jones said. "That's not what's happening, the vote of confidence. I want to say it the best I can. That's not what I'm saying. I feel good about our staff. I'm not equivocating about it. This is not the negative vote of confidence at all. I feel real good about [the staff]."
Jones has made only one in-season coaching change in his tenure, replacing Wade Phillips midway through the 2010 season with Garrett as the interim. He is not thinking about any drastic changes now.
"I really do believe in the old San Francisco [gold miner], right before the next pick, the guy that came behind him found it all," Jones said. "So I think you keep going."
Jones would not keep going with his threat of a suit against the NFL and a few owners if Roger Goodell's extension goes through without full ownership approval. He said there has been "a lot of ownership participation" recently in the discussions regarding Goodell's contract.
"The business of standing down there didn't necessarily mean that you're not standing up somewhere else," Jones said.
He would not get into whether that means the deal will not be completed before the Dec. 13 owners' meetings in Irving, Texas, in which there will be an owners-only session.
"It's fixed to be the owners-only session, that's for sure," Jones said. "I don't want to speak for what the circumstances are, but it's going to be firm, solid and owners-only session that was specifically called for these issues."