A day after giving Jason Garrett a vote of confidence as head coach, owner Jerry Jones gave himself one as general manager.
“The facts are that I really do think the way things have rolled out that I’m getting to do some of the best work that I’ve done, relatively speaking, in my career of these last several years,” Jones said on his weekly radio show on KRLD/105.3 FM on Friday.
Since Jones bought the team in 1989, the Cowboys have won three Super Bowl titles. But they are 133-133 since 1997, with six playoff appearances and one playoff win.
Dallas has not been to the postseason since 2009, going 21-21 in Garrett’s three full seasons as head coach.
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Jones said the criticism by media and fans is “fair.”
Jones, 71, was asked to confirm a CBS News story from earlier this week that he plans on continuing in his current role as owner/GM for the next 15-20 years.
“Of course, I said it, and I really meant that and just think about that a minute: Why wouldn’t you?” Jones said. “One of the reasons that I to some degree have taken the risks that I have over the years and kind of had the professional life that I followed is so that I get to decide when enough is enough. God willing. So I do get to decide that. It’s a certain part of working for yourself if you still are standing when the time comes.
“So I get to really make that decision, and I want to make it in a way that I think is in the best interest of the team, franchise and really our fans.
“A lot of people just need to hear me say I know it’s in our best interest for us to operate the way we have. It’s unfortunate that over these last five or six years that we haven’t had a few things turn right for us at the end of the season, needing to win one out of two games to get into the playoffs, having a healthy quarterback, all of those things. But we’ve been a lot closer than it seems.”
Miles Austin hasn’t had a catch since Week 3. He hasn’t played since Week 7. The Cowboys receiver returns this week, fully healed from a hamstring injury.
“Just excited to be playing again,” Austin said Friday. “I’m obviously from Jersey so family will be there, so yeah, just fired up. It’s the next game for us. The next game is always the biggest game. Just happy to be back with the guys.”
Austin had 15 catches for 125 yards in the first three games, including 10 catches for 72 yards in the season-opening victory over the New York Giants. His last catch came in a victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 22 when he tweaked his hamstring.
“I catch passes in practice and catch balls all the time,” Austin said of it being two months since his last catch. “It’s not much different. But no, it doesn’t feel too long.”
Austin sat out two games before returning to play against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. He had no catches on seven targets in those two games, 72 offensive plays, before the Cowboys decided to shut him down until he was fully healed.
“It’s tough, because you want to be able to run all your routes at full speed and be effective, and I really wasn’t feeling great,” Austin said. “But at the same time, whenever you’re out there, you’re out there.”
The Cowboys have ruled three of their linebackers out of Sunday’s game against the Giants. Sean Lee (hamstring), Justin Durant (hamstring) and DeVonte Holloman (neck) will be sidelined.
They had hoped Holloman would be able to play after he returned to practice last week. But the rookie, who has not played since the Oct. 13 game against the Redskins, had a setback after Wednesday’s padded practice.
The other eight players on the team’s injury report are probable: Cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring), defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (neck) and defensive end DeMarcus Ware (thigh) again were limited in Friday’s practice; Austin (hamstring), receiver Dez Bryant (back), defensive tackle Nick Hayden (ribs), defensive end George Selvie (shoulder) and safety J.J. Wilcox (knee) were full participants.