IRVING, Texas – Jerry Jones has suffered through some miserable years as owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys went 1-15 in his first year with the team in 1989. The most devastating loss was the 1994 NFC Championship Game to the San Francisco 49ers, which still haunts Jones to this day. The loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the 2003 wild-card game on Tony Romo’s bobble sticks out.
The 2008 Cowboys were stacked with talent, but also had some dissension on their way to a 9-7 record that kept them out of the playoffs. Romo missed three games that season with a broken pinky finger.
In 2010, Jones fired Wade Phillips at midseason after a 1-7 start and the Cowboys rallied to a 6-10 finish under Jason Garrett with Romo out the first time he broke his left collarbone.
But this year has been the worst for Jones because of the expectations he had when the season started. Coming off a 12-4 finish last year and the additional pieces of a strong draft process (Byron Jones, Randy Gregory and La'el Collins) and a free-agent pickup like Greg Hardy, Jones thought the Super Bowl drought had its best chance of ending in 2015.
The Cowboys are 3-8 and tied for the worst record in the NFC.
“I don’t know when I’ve ever had diametrically opposite to the extent we have from where I thought we would be to where we are,” Jones said.
There is a thin line between excuses and reasons, but Jones used injuries as the main scapegoat for the Cowboys’ record.
Romo’s twice-broken collarbone has been the biggest injury with the Cowboys carrying an 0-7 record without him. But they have also been without cornerback Orlando Scandrick (knee), Lance Dunbar (knee) and Terrell McClain (toe).
“I know that certainly we’re probably even more aware of how vulnerable you are with injury because this was stunning this year for us to experience the injuries we have,” Jones said. “I’m numb from it, really, without overusing the term. so for any insensitivity I might have had about impact on injuries to a team that I thought was in good shape personnel wise, that’s been really accentuated by the experience we had this year.”