In the wake of his team’s 51-48 loss to the Broncos on Sunday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones accentuated the positive.
Jones praised the play of quarterback Tony Romo and said he was “so proud” of the way the team played before ultimately coming up short. The owner went so far as to call the game a “moral victory” for the Cowboys even though it will show up in the record books as just another loss.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News spoke to Cowboys players who disagree with the guy signing their checks and the contradictory viewpoint isn’t exclusive to the guys actually playing the game. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones also doesn’t see eye to eye with the boss, also known as his father, on the subject of victories existing anywhere but the scoreboard.
“There’s no moral victories in this thing. At the end of the day, you are what you are,” Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via the Dallas Morning News. “It was obviously a very difficult one to digest. I know we’ll bounce back as a team, and we’ll get to work. There’s some positive things to build on, in terms of this team, but certainly no moral victories there.”
Moral victories can exist at some levels in sports, particularly if there’s a wide gap in resources between teams and competitiors. That’s not the case in the NFL. Any disparities on the larger scale have to do with the choices made by personnel departments and that eliminates the possibility of playing so well in defeat that it feels like anything but defeat. That doesn’t mean the Cowboys can’t build off of what happened in the game, but they can’t turn the result into something it wasn’t either.