The Agony of Defeat: Dallas Cowboys reflect on last 20 years
DIANE XAVIER | 1/11/2016, 11:15 a.m.
The Dallas Examiner
Twenty years. That’s how long the Dallas Cowboys have gone without winning a Super Bowl. As the team closed its 2015 season with a 23-34 loss against division rival, Washington Redskins on Jan. 3, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reflected on the team’s drought.
“I just can’t believe 20 years have gone by,” Jones said. “It’s like a flash. I would have never thought that the length of time would go by after going to the Super Bowls that we went to the first seven years that I was in the NFL. We’ve had free agency since those first seven years. I can give you bigger challenges. Some teams have done better than others. For the most part, you’ll see a lot of teams around .500. It’s funny that we’ve designed the league to get everybody to .500. That doesn’t mean anybody has to honor that. Some, like New England, have done an outstanding job of disallowing what the league wants with everybody equal.”
After high expectations during the preseason, the Cowboys finished the season with a disappointing 4-12 record. The year was filled with injuries to star players like quarterback Tony Romo, who broke his collarbone twice, a foot injury for wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was out half of the season, and injuries to defensive player Sean Lee, who suffered concussions and hamstring injuries as well.
“I’m taken aback by the fact that we’re sitting here with four wins after this year,” Jones said. “It was never anticipated. In fact, I thought we did one of the best offseason jobs of addressing our needs and really acquiring some serious talent where we had the most need. I thought maybe we had the best offseason that we have had. The year before, I was a little skeptical. Last year, you all made me Executive of the Year. This year, I think I’m on my way out.”
The Redskins opened the game with 21 points and three touchdowns, allowing them to use their backup players in the second half.
The Cowboys struggled with turnovers on offense, with backup quarterback Kellen Moore throwing two interceptions and fumbling the snap at a certain play during the game.
“The turnovers are what cost us and put us in a really bad position to win that at the end,” Moore said. “Obviously there were some good things at the end of the day that you can think positively about, but you have to learn and avoid those turnovers.”
Head Coach Jason Garrett talked about the team’s underperformance this season.
“Clearly we didn’t get the job done, for a lot of different reasons,” Garrett said. “We didn’t handle the adversity of the season very well. I think our team fought, we battled, we scratched and clawed. Those are important things, but you have to do the necessary things to win football games in this league. We’ve done that in the past. We didn’t do that this year, certainly not on a consistent enough basis. When we did those things, we’d win the game. When we didn’t, we didn’t win the games. We’re going to pull back and evaluate every aspect of our football team and try to improve it in every way that we can.”
Despite having a 45-43 record as head coach, Jones said Garrett’s job is not in jeopardy.
The Cowboys now have the fourth pick in the upcoming NFL Draft in April. This may be one of Jones’ most disappointing season as Cowboys owner.
“It’s close to it,” Jone said. “It would rival the most frustrating time. It has a life of its own. I sat out there today and saw three or four plays and three or four loose balls and said ‘I just don’t think it’s our year.’ But that’s the way it works. We’re short fundamentally. We’re short in execution. We’re short in many ways we shouldn’t be, not just at quarterback.”