The Washington Nationals started 19-31 and won the World Series. The St. Louis Blues had the league’s worst record at 15-18-4 and 34 points in January before winning the Stanley Cup.
The Cowboys don’t have the NFL’s worst record, but at 6-6 nobody is picking them to win the Super Bowl. Except Jerry Jones.
He said he “likes our bet” in explaining why he’s keeping Jason Garrett for the rest of the season.
“I’m just not going to make a coaching change,” Jones said in a 26-minute postgame interview. “. . .The real world is it’s not impossible that we could step out here and play a game that we improve from and we’ve got a caliber of team that has a chance to do more than just not show up in the playoffs.”
The owner insisted again and again and again that Garrett gives the Cowboys the best chance to do what they set out to do when the season began despite an 0-5 record against teams with winning records.
The Cowboys will remain in first place at the end of Week 13 regardless how the Eagles (5-6) do against the Dolphins. They are 6-6 and have a head-to-head victory over Philadelphia. The Eagles and Cowboys play again Dec. 22.
“I’m going to do the same thing I’ve always done when I get a setback or get my butt kicked,” Jones said. “I’m going to get up in the morning, and I’m going to look for ways [to help], and I’m not going to panic. I’m going to look for ways to improve the situation. I’m still glad that when I get up in the morning, I can look for ways to help our team. One of them is not a coaching change. One of them is not reworking the offense or the defense. Those aren’t alternatives for us to be ready to play over the next month and give us a chance to be what we want to be. But if we stay healthy and other contenders might not, and all of a sudden we start jelling, and we start getting some turnovers, then those games will turn out differently. I like our bet there. I do, even though we haven’t played well the last three games. I like our bet.
“As I said, nobody is satisfied with how we played even when we played Detroit. That’s not taking away from anything, but we can play better, and if we can play better, we’ve still got the base health of this team and we’ve got the personnel that we can put out there and we’ve got some coaches, generally coaches here, that I believe in. It’s not working the way they’d thought it’d work, or I’d thought it’d work, but I believe in these coaches to be here to begin with.”
An interim coach has never led a team to the postseason, something Jones surely had in mind when he made his decision to keep Garrett.
“I wouldn’t make a change and give us a chance to do what I want to dream about doing. I wouldn’t do that for love nor money,” Jones said. “It would give us zero chance if we didn’t have [Garrett].”
Garrett, though, has never led the Cowboys beyond the divisional round, something he likely has to do to get a contract extension. All Jones gave him Thursday was a vote of confidence until the end of the season.
Garrett almost certainly will have to write Jones’ fairytale ending to return in 2020.
“It was a fairytale when I got to buy the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones said. “It’s been a fairytale life to me, so I have always dreamed out there on the edge. I really have. I’ve been confused many times between my dreams and reality. But have surprised my own ass by finding out there was some real reality in what a lot of people thought I was dreaming about.”