Owner Jerry Jones wasn’t in an overly celebratory mood in the locker room after his Dallas Cowboys’ 19-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.
Instead, Jones criticized coach Jason Garrett and his staff for not getting Dez Bryant more involved in the game plan early on and also the clock management at the end of the game, saying the Cowboys “won on will, not tactical mastery.”
Jones went on to express his disappointment that the coaching staff wasn’t able to figure out a way to win without quarterback Tony Romo until Monday.
“I am stunned that we haven’t been able to win more games without Tony,” said Jones, who signed Garrett to a five-year, $30 million extension last offseason.
“And I would have thought that we could have coached it up enough, and put it together enough, that we would not have lost those games without Romo early. We would be in better shape than we are right now.”
Jones is referring to the horrid NFC East, of course, that is wide open. Jones liked seeing the Cowboys win, but must have been playing the "what if" game in his head. If the Cowboys could have even gone 2-5 without Romo, they would be leading the division with four to play.
But they didn’t, Brandon Weeden going 0-3 and Matt Cassel 0-4. Cassel eventually broke the dubious backup quarterback winless streak on Monday, although there were factors other than Cassel’s play to cite.
Still, a win is a win and Jones is happy that his team is still in the hunt.
But it’s the first time this season that he’s openly questioned Garrett and the coaching staff.
After all, this is a division that the Cowboys could easily be leading. For Jones, he doesn’t look at the season as the Cowboys being one game out of the division lead. He looks at it as a 4-8 year.
“I look at it as 4-8 and won’t look at it any differently as we move up the ladder until something really special happens,” Jones said.