Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may not be a master of NFL personnel, but he has become a master of the obvious.
His team stinks in December, and he knows it needs to improve.
But the comments from his most recent twice-weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas unfairly have been characterized by some as Jones calling out quarterback Tony Romo. Consideration of the full remarks shows that Jones actually was calling out his defense.
“We’ve always known that what they remember is what you do in December,” Jones said initially on the topic of his teams struggles down the stretch. “And I say that with a smile on my face. But this is usually — hopefully — when you’ve got a team far enough along in the standings that what you do here is your season. And this is really no exception at all.”
The mischaracterization of Jones’ remarks likely traces to his response to a question about Romo’s 11-15 record in December.
“I think it’s real and I don’t mean to be trite, but you can probably tie that to why we have had disappointments in December,” Jones said. “It’s hard to build up enough edge to play at that level in December, so you’d better have your arrow going up rather than going down.”
But that’s the closest Jones came to questioning Romo’s performance. Actually, Jones thereafter was careful to point out that Romo has played very well in December. Jones said that the defense has let the team down in the season’s final month.
On that point, Jones specifically mentioned his most recent former defensive coordinator. You know, the one whose new team kicked the Cowboys’ collective butts not that long ago.
“I think when I look at last year there’s no question, I’m gonna talk about Rob Ryan a minute, there’s no question we were rendered almost really helpless as the last part of the season came along to really be what we wanted to be defensively,” Jones said. “We’re not that way this year.”
So while it makes for a more compelling story (and attracts more click-click-clicks) to say that Jones called out Romo, that simply didn’t happen.