The Cowboys lost their third game via blowout in three weeks on Thanksgiving, plunging Dallas to 5-6 and putting their playoff hopes on life support. After addressing the team in the locker room, Jerry Jones insisted he's still behind Jason Garrett and the coaching staff.
The owner rebuffed questions about Garrett's job security following Thursday's 28-6 failure versus the Chargers.
"No. Just no. Again, I don't step out of the dressing room and evaluate the coaching position at all," Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "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. I'm not even going to talk about anything positive but there are things if you want to look at them. We've just got to get everybody to just sit here and grab a hold, get back and let's see if we can't do better and win some games."
Dallas has been outscored 92-22 in the three games without Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys have also missed Tyron Smith for two of those games, Sean Lee for two and a half, and Zack Martin for the second half of Thursday's game. Despite missing key pieces, Jones believes the team still has depth and that the men coaching them are right for the job.
"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. I frankly, guys, have had some of real losing moments right before really knocked it out of the park."
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan have received rave reviews in the past for their work handling middling depth on D and a young quarterback on offense. The recent collapse on both sides of the ball, however, has both men answering questions about the lack of adjustments and has put Garrett squarely on the hot seat.
The Cowboys have been outscored 72-6 in the second halves of their three-game skid, which speaks to the adjustment problems. However, Jones reiterated he's confident in his coaching staff.
"No. No, absolutely not. And I mean it, no," Jones said. "I think we've just got to -- I feel about this staff the same way I feel about my mirror -- that's what if there's some changes made, don't change what's in front of the mirror, because I can change what you're doing that the mirror is seeing. Candidly, I'm really not shaken. I'm disappointed, but there's no shake here.
"What I'm reluctant to do here is say a affirmative thing about our staff, and look like that endorsement. I don't want to look like they're getting the proverbial endorsement. That's not what's happening. The vote of confidence, yes, I want to say it the best way I can. That's not what I'm saying. I feel good about our staff, I'm not equivocating about it, and this isn't the negative vote of confidence at all. I feel good about it."
The normally impulsive owner could change his mind if the season continues to swirl down the drain with another string of blowout losses. For now, he'll stick with Garrett, the hand-picked coach he's groomed for years to get him through the tough times in which they're currently stuck.
"I really do believe in the old San Francisco gold miner that quit right before the next pick, and the guy came behind him and hit it and found it all," Jones said. "So I think you keep going."