Jerry Jones tried putting Jason Garrett on notice. That didn’t work. The Dallas Cowboys either didn’t listen or were unable to do anything about it. So now, Jones will give a try to simply standing by and hoping for the best.

The Cowboys are a .500 team late in a season that began with Jones, their Hall of Fame owner, giving a big-money contract extension to tailback Ezekiel Elliott after handing out lucrative deals to other players during the offseason. They’re a reeling team to close a week that started with Jones calling out his coaching staff. Their annual Thanksgiving home game created a case of indigestion for their fans when the Cowboys lost to the Buffalo Bills, 26-15, on Thursday in Arlington, Tex.

But Jones did not fire Garrett, his 10th-year head coach, afterward. Instead, he said that he will stick with Garrett and hope that the Cowboys can turn things around and still end up in the Super Bowl.

“I’ve been told all my life adversity gives you an opportunity to really write a hell of a story about how to come back,” Jones told reporters after the game at AT&T Stadium.

He had tears in his eyes as he began a postgame meeting with the media that lasted for close to a half-hour. Jones said he’d been “in a very emotional locker room with a lot of other guys that are emotional.” There was “zero chance,” Jones said, that the Cowboys would immediately fix their problems without Garrett being kept as the coach. He said it was “not the time” to contemplate and discuss Garrett’s job security.

“The way that I’m going to handle this is encourage everybody to basically look to the possibility of winning out and end up doing something that people will write about 30 years from now, and being a part of that,” Jones said. “I like that story tonight as I eat my turkey better than having to choke with it going down.”

A promising start Thursday for the Cowboys, with quarterback Dak Prescott throwing an opening-drive touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten, gave way to a run of 26 straight points by the Bills. The Cowboys’ record dropped to 6-6, and their lead over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East was reduced to a half-game. They do not have a victory this season over a team that currently has a winning record.

“Obviously we didn’t get the job done,” Garrett said at his postgame news conference. “They’re a good football team and we didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game.”

Prescott described the scene in the Cowboys’ postgame locker room as “just an exchange of words about us sticking together. Anything and everything outside of that locker room doesn’t matter. It’s as simple as that.”

The quarterback expressed “100 percent” conviction during his postgame news conference that the Cowboys’ season still can be salvaged.

“No belief has been lost,” Prescott said. “No confidence has been lost. This is simply execution and it’s on players. That’s kind of what that conversation was.”

Jones had said following Sunday’s defeat at New England that the Cowboys had lost because of the fundamentals of coaching and football. He doubled down on his comments during the week. Garrett was aggressive Thursday. The Cowboys converted on fourth down and less than a yard from their own 19-yard line in the first half. They failed on fourth and goal from the Buffalo 6-yard line late in the third quarter on a Prescott incompletion. They came up empty on fourth and four from the Bills 22-yard line with less than six minutes remaining.

Prescott’s second touchdown pass of the game, a 15-yarder to wide receiver Ventell Bryant with just more than four minutes left, amounted to far too little, far too late in a frustrating day for the Cowboys. Prescott committed two turnovers, throwing an interception and losing a fumble. Kicker Brett Maher missed two field goal attempts. Wideout Amari Cooper left the field in the fourth quarter after taking a hit on his left knee following a catch, though he returned to the game.

Quarterback Josh Allen threw for one touchdown and ran for another for the Bills, who upped their record to 9-3 and clinched only their fourth winning season in the last 20 years. Buffalo also scored on a first-half trick play on which wide receiver John Brown threw a touchdown pass to running back Devin Singletary.

“I love our team,” Allen said, “and I love what we’ve got going on right now.”

The Cowboys wish they could say the same thing.

“If I had thought that calling somebody out or going in there and giving them a Knute Rockne talk would have made any difference as to how we executed and how we’d do, then I’d bottle that and sell it to a lot of different places,” Jones said. “That’s not the way this thing works. That’s not how it works at all …. I’ve been with Jason in a lot of ups and downs …. What I’m doing is realistically saying that these guys have a makeup that we can start right now and win these games one by one and get where we might want to go. I agree it’s outside.” (FINAL: Bills 26, Cowboys 15)

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