Jerry Jones wouldn’t cite Tony Romo’s injury.
He wouldn’t pin the Dallas Cowboys’ lost season on Matt Cassel either.
Instead, the Cowboys owner pointed a finger at the Cowboys general manager for the team not being better prepared at the position behind Romo.
“Probably not having that backup quarterback in better shape, whether it be having Cassel for the entire preseason,” Jones said of his failure as GM. “I’ve said that, and I know y’all are tired of hearing it, but certainly not having this backup quarterback in better shape rests solely and completely starting with me and that shouldn’t have been all of it, but it certainly was enough to really diminish a lot of the hope and promise that this team had.”
Cassel, who arrived in a Sept. 22 trade with the Buffalo Bills, saw his record with the Cowboys fall to 1-5. For the third time in those six starts, Cassel failed to pass for 200 yards.
He completed 13 of 29 passes for 114 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a 41.5 passer rating.
“It’s just part of the NFL,” Cassel said when asked if arriving during the season has anything to do with his struggles. “It’s what we do for a living. Sometimes the situation is what it is. You’ve got to embrace the opportunity. Again, I’ve been given the opportunity here, and I’m grateful for that. At the same time, you’d like to do more with the opportunity when it comes your way.”
Dallas has scored seven or fewer points in three games this season. That marks the first time since 2003 that the Cowboys have had three regular-season games with seven or fewer points.
In the nine games without Romo, the Cowboys have averaged 16.1 points per game. That includes a 15.2 points per game average in the six games with Cassel.
“You know what, I can’t really critique the whole thing and say what went wrong,” Cassel said. “I know there are a number of things. We’ll evaluate the film and watch it and get corrections. We’ve got a short week coming up this week against the Jets, and we’ve got to move forward.”
While some Cowboys fans are calling for Kellen Moore to get his chance at quarterback the rest of the season, the team doesn’t appear ready to go there yet. Both Jones and coach Jason Garrett threw their support behind Cassel.
“We believe in Matt Cassel,” Garrett said. “We believe he can win games for us. We will evaluate the tape before we talk about anything regarding personnel.
“Matt battles. He competes. Unfortunately, we didn’t do enough offensively to win this ballgame.”