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Perhaps no NFL team owner loves the spotlight more than Jerry Jones. Jones, as we all know, isn’t just the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, he’s also the franchise’s general manager. After every game, win or lose, Jones addresses the media, and he also appears on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan weekly.
While it’s great that he makes himself available — witness Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone’s visible frustration in October when he was the one peppered with questions about the Jalen Ramsey trade, a transaction that wasn’t his doing — Jones’ decision to wear so many hats means that fans have no one but him to be frustrated with when things aren’t going well, as they aren’t right now.
On Friday, the morning after their loss to the Chicago Bears, Jones was on The Fan, but he put the hosts on their heels when he made it obvious quickly that he was, well, grumpy. At one point Jones’ phone line was cut off because he had cursed one time too many for the station’s internal system.
‘Get your damn act together’
The fireworks began early. Speaking with K&C Masterpiece hosts Cory Mageors and Kevin Hageland, Jones was asked, “Are you embarrassed as an organization?” and snapped back.
“Get your damn act together yourself, OK? We’re going to have a good visit this morning, but settle down just a little bit,” he said. “We’ve got a lot to go over, now go on with your question, but I’m going to give you the answers I want to give you this morning but I don’t like your attitude to come in. I’ve been traveling all night and I don’t have the patience to jack with you today.”
But emotionally..., the host tried again.
“Let’s get with it and ask some questions,” Jones said, cutting him off.
‘You’ve got a litany of places to start to correct’
On who gets the anger after yet another loss (Dallas is now 6-7 after starting the season 3-0): “The GM gets his GM anger. You’re great guys; give your anger. We have players out there that didn’t have a good game last night, haven’t had a good game the last three games, and we’ve got to play better, there’s nothing else to it.”
On what can be fixed: “When you have as many things that were as off-kilter as we had last night, you’ve got a nice litany of places to start to correct. Now just like we all do, you take the ones that are the most obvious, that you can do the most about, and you correct those to the extent that you can. That’s what we tried to do last week and that’s what we’ll try to do in the next 10 days before we play the Rams.”
Is the talent on the team better than has been shown?: “We have not played at the level that I thought our personnel would play at when I look back on the entire season. You can take each position group and you can basically evaluate how their talent level could have played better; that’s what you strive for. Like all the teams I’ve ever been associated with, this team has better talent at some positions than they do others, has better depth at some position than they do other. Along that line, we’ve been very lucky on our injuries. We haven’t had injuries to key positions. That team we played last night was limited in that they had a lot of people missing last night, lost a top player during the game. It just shows the good job they did, we knew they had a top defense coming in, but I thought we would be more effective against their offensive line.”
Do you get tired of getting questions about Jason Garrett’s job security?: “Of course I understand why they come up — fans are interested. They’re frustrated that we’re not playing better, and I understand that. I fully expect to have those questions, and I know if you really think about it, if I did have answers as to different directions regarding talent, I would not share them right now, because if you have other team’s talent in mind, that’s tampering...”
There was then a break in the audio, followed by Jones saying, “Do you understand bullshit?”
When Jones was asked whether the Cowboys have quit on Garrett, silence followed. It was explained that Jones had cursed again, and when the “dump” button has to be pushed more than once in a short amount of time, the system drops the phone call. So however he initially started that answer on Garrett, it apparently included another swear.
But Jones called back, and they tried again.
What is Jones’ message to fans who think players have quit on Garrett?
“We’ve seen every aspect of this team do better. Every aspect. We’ve seen this team play better than this in recent times,” Jones said. “Like different parts of it, as recently as last week or the week before. I’m talking segmented parts of it. So you aren’t being totally unrealistic if you expect better play from certain areas of the team.
“We’ve had plays executed better than we did last night. We had our kicker make some of the longest kicks in the history of the NFL ... Because we’ve seen it, because we know these players, then it’s not totally unrealistic to think we can get them together at the same time when we play the Rams and get them to play better.
“As far as quitting on Jason Garrett, you have to remember when you quit on your coach, you quit on yourself. And you’re absolutely right when we started this show: the one that deserves the most responsibility is the one that ultimately makes the decision to put what players out there and put what coach out there; that’s the general manager, in this case it happens to be the same man who owns the team, and I completely understand fan’s frustration with me.”
And that’s today’s (this hour’s?) edition of As the Cowboys Turn.
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