A victory over Atlanta on Sunday would’ve helped the cause, especially with Seattle and New England looming. Still, the Cowboys knew they would be challenged to beat Atlanta without Romo, Dez Bryant (foot) and several other starters, but they blew three different 14-point leads in their 39-28 loss to the Falcons.
“I’m not worried,” Jones said. “We just have a lot of work to do to stay in the hunt."
Improvements need to be made on both sides of the ball after the Falcons scored the game’s final 25 points.
Backup quarterback Brandon Weeden completed 22 of 26 passes for 232 yards with an interception. On the surface, that’s a fine performance.
But he didn’t complete either of his three passes directed toward Terrance Williams, though a facemask penalty on an incompletion occurred on the Cowboys’ first scoring drive.
And he attempted just two passes longer than 20 yards, which meant Atlanta’s safeties creeped closer and closer to the line of scrimmage throughout the game, which helped them shut down the Cowboys’ running game.
Joseph Randle, who had 85 yards on his first three carries, finished with 87 yards on 12 carries.
The Cowboys had 230 yards -- 131 rushing -- 20 first downs and 28 points in the first half. They had 52 yards --minus-4 rushing -- three first downs and no points in the second half.
“I’m not at all concerned about these guys handling this psychologically,” Jones said. “It’s going to be really easy to point out where we did some good things against some good players.
“All we missed here was a chance to get on a mountain top with a win that would’ve helped us numbers-wise. It’s a tough road.”
Defensively, the Cowboys allowed 285 yards passing and 158 yards rushing. They expected Julio Jones to have success -- and he did, with 12 catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
But they didn’t expect backup running back Devonta Freeman to gain 141 yards on 30 carries and score three touchdowns
It starts next Sunday against winless New Orleans, which started backup quarterback Luke McCown against Carolina.