TAMPA, Fla. – As Jerry Jones looks at what has happened to the Dallas Cowboys’ season in the last eight weeks, he sees more than just Tony Romo’s absence as the main culprit.
He is not ready to call it quits on the season even though the Cowboys have their first seven-game losing streak since 1989, his first year as owner. But he knows they will need good fortune in their final seven games, and even that might not be enough.
“I haven’t looked at what would have to happen for us to win the division, which would seem like the only logical way to look at it,” Jones said after Sunday’s 10-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “We needed these last two, three, four ballgames. We’ve been in a situation where we needed wins and we’re not getting them and that’s a hard price to pay even though we’ve got a chance to be a better team with Romo. But still, we’re not getting it done and that’s beginning with me.
“That’s right where the responsibility is and we should be able to do better than we’ve done the last seven games.”
Out of sheer law of averages, Jones believes the Cowboys should have won at least a couple of these games. He often refers to the design for parity in the NFL as a reason for hope.
But every weakness of the roster has been exposed during the seven-game losing streak, from the decision to not do more to keep DeMarco Murray or sufficiently fill his departure, to solidifying the backup quarterback spot, to finding more veteran receiver help, to the decision to add Greg Hardy.
Injuries have hurt the Cowboys. Romo’s broken collarbone is at the top of the list, but so is Dez Bryant’s broken foot that kept him out of four games. The Cowboys lost their best cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, in training camp to a knee injury and the rest of the corners have yet to intercept a pass.
But injuries happen to every team and the best teams are able to overcome them. The Cowboys haven’t and Jones is rightfully questioning everything.
“Well, it is very disappointing,” Jones said. “I’m disappointed. We had high expectations, to say the very least, for this year, so I’m disappointed for the people that count the most: our fans. I’m disappointed we’re not giving them a better showing. The system in the NFL, the rules, everything that you do to put a team together and every team you play, you basically expect to do better than we’re doing. We’re simply just not obviously playing average and that’s very disappointing. It takes a lot of across-the-board blame.”