Dallas Cowboys: Owner Jerry Jones supports team's coaching staff

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 25, 2017 at 9:53 AM
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FRISCO, Tex. -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones emerged from the locker room following Thursday's 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and expressed support and confidence in head coach Jason Garrett and his staff.

It was the slumping Cowboys' third consecutive loss in blowout fashion by a combined score of 92-22, including previous losses to the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles by scores of 27-7 and 37-9.

It marked the first time in franchise history that the Cowboys have scored 10 or fewer points in three consecutive games and the first time since 2004 that the Cowboys have lost three consecutive games by 20 or more points.

At 5-6, the Cowboys are a long shot to make the playoffs. It's questionable whether they will even finish with a winning record.

It was Jones who felt the need to talk to the team after the game in hopes of lifting their spirits.

Yet, he said he remains supportive of Garrett and the job his staff is doing.

Garrett signed a five-year, $30 million contract extension after going 12-4 in 2014. The contract expires after the 2019 season.

"No. Just no. Again, I don't step out of the dressing room and evaluate the coaching position at all," said Jones, when asked about the job security of Garrett and the staff. "Candidly and I don't even want to say it so that somebody might repeat it. Absolutely not. We've got some things that we're not playing good. We're not a good team right now. We can be a good team."

Running back Ezekiel Elliott's absence is a factor in the Cowboys' struggles. The three losses have come in the first three games of a six-game suspension he is serving for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Jones is admittedly shocked the Cowboys haven't done better without Elliott. But he doesn't blame the staff.

"Well, I think that again, I've got a lot of optimism for our talent," Jones said. "I do. Now we all know that it has to get better, has to get together. I really think this coaching staff is tops. I think Jason is able to use everything that he's learned, as coordinator, as coach over these last years, and we've just got to get it together."

Garrett is 63-52 since taking over for Wade Phillips midway through the 2010 season. He has two winning seasons during his first six full seasons.

--Head coach Jason Garrett isn't going to make any drastic changes to try and spark a Cowboys' offense that has hit a level of ineptness never seen before in franchise history.

Garrett shot down the notion of taking control of play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, and vowed to remain true to his coaching convictions even though the offense has scored fewer than 10 points in three consecutive games.

"Certainly, we're always looking at ourselves and things that we can do better, but our convictions as a coaching staff, or as a football team, really won't change," Garrett said on a conference call Friday.

"You're looking for different ways to implement things. You self-scout. You do a lot of different things week by week to give your team the best chance possible. But the core convictions about how you win ball games? They remain intact."

Scoring more points is the No. 1 way to get the Cowboys to a more respectable place. Thursday's 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers extended a level of futility that has never happened in this organization before.

Not even the 2001 team had that sort of drought when the Cowboys averaged 15.4 points game (30th in the league) and rolled through a quartet of quarterbacks - Ryan Leaf, Anthony Wright, Quincy Carter and Clint Stoerner.

Or the 2002 team that averaged 13.6 points a game (31st in the league) with Carter and Chad Hutchinson at quarterback.

Or just two years ago when the Cowboys averaged 17.2 points a game (31st in the league) with backup quarterbacks Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore combining to go 1-11 in place of an injured Tony Romo.

"We're not a good team right now," owner Jerry Jones said on his 105.3 The Fan radio show Friday. "I really will tell you - and this is some hopeful but it's also some factual - we can really salvage this thing.

"I look at our schedule, I look at where we are with our talent. I've seen it before - I've seen these guys play at levels, each one of them individually, that allows me to think this way. If I've never seen it, then that would be different on an individual basis or as a team."

Sure, the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott - the reigning rushing champ - has been a blow to the Cowboys, as well as playing without All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith for two games.

But the drop-off in production without Elliott has been stunning. This is a team that was averaging the fourth-most points in the league (28.3 points per game) going into the Atlanta Falcons game earlier this month.

How fast things can turn in the NFL. The Cowboys have dropped to being the 15th-ranked scoring offense in a matter of three games.

REPORT CARD VS. CHARGERS

--PASSING OFFENSE: F --Dak Prescott was horrendous, completing 20 of 27 passes for 179 yards with two interceptions and a pick-six. The receivers are not getting open and making no plays to help Prescott out. Tight end Jason Witten led the Cowboys with seven catches for 44 yards. Dez Bryant has been reduced to being a non-factor with three catches for 37 yards.

--RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- The Cowboys rushed for 79 yards on 20 carries. Don't mind the 4.0 average. It wasn't good enough to threaten the end zone or make a difference for the offense. The best run play was a 36-yard touchdown by Dak Prescott and it was called back for holding.

--PASS DEFENSE: F -- Philip Rivers looked he was playing against air against the suspect Cowboys pass defense. The rush couldn't get to him and the defenders didn't cover. Rivers completed 27 of 33 passes for 434 yards with three touchdowns. Keenan Allen had 11 catches for 172 yards.

--RUSH DEFENSE: C --The Chargers rushed 33 times for 81 yards. Melvin Gordon had 65 yards on 21 carries as the Cowboys did a decent job against the run for the first time without Sean Lee on the field. Jaylen Smith led the defense with eight tackles. Anthony Hitchens had seven.

--SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Chris Jones is the most consistent Cowboy. He had five punts with an average of 41.6 yards per attempt. Ryan Switzer had a couple nice kickoff returns, but he still remains a mystery on returns. The Cowboys did a good job in coverage on kicks and punts.

--COACHING: F - There are no excuses for the coaching staff following the Cowboys' third consecutive loss in blowout fashion by a combined score of 92-22, including previous losses to the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles by scores of 27-7 and 37-9. The Cowboys have been outscored 72-6 in the second halves of the three games.

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