Six days after an embarrassing loss on national TV prompted Troy Aikman to say the Dallas Cowboys needed a “complete overhaul,” the team went out and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, a victory that owner Jerry Jones admitted was welcome after days of “seeing the Grim Reaper.”
Given that Jones essentially functions as the team’s general manager, the 27-20 victory was a relief and lifted the Cowboys to 4-5.
“In light of last week, this becomes one of the real, for me, memorable games,” Jones said after the game (via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). “So when you’re feeling low and seeing the Grim Reaper and then come in and have your team perform the way these guys are, I promise you it is a special feeling. It is a lift and you are absolutely right, I won’t need any wings on that airplane getting back to Dallas tonight.”
The loser of this game was going to struggle to make the playoffs, and NBC’s Tony Dungy predicted that the loser would fail to make the playoffs. Both teams now are 4-5, behind the 6-3 Redskins, who beat Tampa Bay. The Cowboys face the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day. More importantly, there was a bit of a reprieve for Coach Jason Garrett. He justified Jones’s comment last week that he didn’t plan any coaching changes. “It just makes me want to go out and do even more to turn this thing,” Garrett told Jones before the game, according to the Star-Telegram.
Garrett wasn’t the only one who felt a measure of redemption. Quarterback Dak Prescott passed for 270 yards and justified Jones’s musing last week about giving him a contract extension.
“When you have those questions all around you and you play through that, then that just reinforces my support of Dak,” he said. “We were reeling when we came to Philadelphia, so I’m just proud for them that we came out of here with this win. We know we beat a good football team tonight.”
Eagles fans let them hear about it, with some bringing a coffin to the game for the Cowboys. That worked out . . . poorly. Next for the Cowboys is Sunday’s game in Atlanta, followed by Thanksgiving’s game against Washington.
“Wouldn’t it be something if we could come home with the same feeling after we play Atlanta. We’ll be trying. . . . It’s beginning to be Christmastime,” Jones said. “When you’re being called to task and we are, and we still are, by the way, as rewarding as this is, we’ve still have a lot of accountability to do here.”
As for the comments by Aikman, Jones was in no position to argue last week.
“This is a tough stretch that we’re in,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Friday. “We’ve been through tough stretches when he played here. These are tough stretches. People are going to be critical and take their shots. I’m fully aware this is a time we should be criticized.”
Just keep that Reaper person away.
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