Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones refused to give coach Jason Garrett a vote of confidence after Sunday’s loss to the Packers, saying he has already given him a vote of confidence and will not do it every week.
“Let me be real clear. My refusal to comment one way or the other is not in any way a change from anything that I’ve said earlier about Jason’s future as our coach,” Jones said.
“Let me be real clear, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
Jones said three weeks ago that Garrett will be the Cowboys’ coach in 2014.
He was asked Sunday if that would change if the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs.
“You’ve got a game. We’re talking about this ballgame right here today,” Jones said. “Every time in sports when a coach loses a ballgame, you’ve got to have a vote of confidence, so we’re not getting involved in that. The coach is as sick as I am about how bad we played in the second half.”
Asked if his long-term commitment to Garrett had wavered, Jones said, “Let me just say this: I’m clear, and I don’t choose to talk about that or talk about several things about the franchise right now.
“This is not appropriate to talk about it right now. We’ve just had a loss.”
Asked for clarification on how firm he was about Garrett being the coach next year, Jones said, “I was firm for one night at that time and that doesn’t call for me having to be firm every morning I get up. So I was real firm then, so take that to the bank. I’m not going to sit here and every time I see you guys, ask whether I’m firm or not. We can all play that game.”
Jones, told he is getting a chance to “slam the door” on speculation about Garrett’s future, said, “I don’t need a chance. I slammed that door back here — when was it? Four weeks ago? That door was slammed. I don’t need another chance.
“And y’all shouldn’t ask for one every time you see me under any circumstances, whether we’ve had a bad practice or whether we’ve had, as we had today, a real disappointment. That’s not an accurate, that’s not accurate at all, and we’ve got a lot of work to do here as you can see. We’ve got a real challenge ahead of us. This is a bitter, bitter disappointment to lose this game right here in our stadium, and we’ve got an opportunity to sweep the East by playing the Redskins and by playing the Philadelphia Eagles – we’ll start with the Redskins – and we do, we’ll win the East. That was our first goal. Then y’all will be seeing me and asking me if I’m giving him a raise, an extension.”
Dez Bryant left the field before the game was over, drawing criticism from two national analysts.
But quarterback Tony Romo shrugged it off.
“It’s an emotional game,” he said. “You get to the end there, obviously, it’s not fun for any of us to lose a football game. It’s not an enjoyable process the way it ends, no matter how it ends. It’s always tough emotionally. So, it is what it is.”
During the review that resulted in an overturned call that awarded an interception to the Packers, Bryant walked to the sideline and unbuckled his chin strap.
“You cannot do that,” NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Tony Dungy said. “I’ve got a problem with that, as a coach, as a teammate. That is something you just cannot do if you want to be a leader on that team.”
Fellow analyst Rodney Harrison said, “I’m very disappointed. I love him as a player, but he’s got to grow up and be more accountable to his teammates.”
Bryant, who had 11 catches on a season-high 17 targets for 153 yards and a touchdown, declined to talk to reporters.
Bryant tweeted after the game, "I walked back to the locker room because I was emotional ... It had nothing to do with my teammates. We had it ... We fought and didn't finish."
Out of LBs
The Cowboys are bracing for news that Sean Lee is going to miss the rest of the season, another blow to a linebacker corps that also lost Ernie Sims and Justin Durant in Sunday’s loss to the Packers.
A team source said the Cowboys expect to hear this week that Lee is finished for the season, as he undergoes further evaluation for a neck injury.
Sims left the game on the last play of the first half when he hurt his hip. Durant left in the first quarter because of a hamstring injury, the second time this year he has been lost because to a hamstring. And Bruce Carter was inactive because of a hamstring injury.
The Cowboys finished the game with rookies DeVonte Holloman and Cameron Lawrence and second-year player Kyle Wilber at linebacker.
“We’re veterans, and obviously we get most of the reps throughout the whole week,” Sims said. “You throw rookies in the fire, it’s a tough situation for them.”
Holloman said it was learning on the run.
Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said not to fault the backup linebackers.
“Those guys did as good as they can do,” he said. “They just haven’t had a lot of experience, you know. It’s tough. Holloman hasn’t been playing a lot. Neither has Cam. You can’t fault those guys. So we just couldn’t hold on.”
Dan Bailey added to a team record for 50-plus-yard field goals in a season, hitting his fifth and sixth of the year Sunday against the Packers, and extended his team record for career 50-yarders to 11.
His two 50-yard field goals also tied the team record for 50-yarders in a game, which he now shares with Eddie Murray, who did it on Dec. 12, 1993, at Minnesota.
Bailey, who came into the year trailing Rafael Septien, 8-5, in career 50-yarders with the Cowboys, said he was ready for his sixth kick of the game, a potential game-winner.
“We’ve been in those situations before, and I had all the confidence in the world that we were going to go down and put the final points on the board,” he said. “But sometimes it doesn’t work out your way. You’ve got to take it as it comes and move on.”
Bailey’s eight game-winning kicks are the most in team history. He is 84-for-93 (90.3 percent) with the Cowboys.
“Individual stats are kind of a non-issue for me today, especially with three games left in the season,” he said. “It’s all about wins and losses, and we win and lose as a team. So we’ll just have to figure this one out and be ready next week.”