Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he’s been doing some of his best work in years, despite the fact that his team is 21-21 since Jason Garrett took over as coach in 2011.
The Cowboys have also missed the postseason the past three seasons.
“The facts are I really do think, the way things have rolled out, I’m getting to do some of the best work that I’ve done, relatively speaking in my career, over these last several years,” Jones said Friday morning on KRLD-FM.
The facts are I really do think the way things have rolled out I’m getting to do some of the best work I’ve done, relatively speaking in my career over these last several years.
” — Jerry Jones
Since 1997, the Cowboys have posted a 133-133 mark with Jones as GM.
The Cowboys have struggled on defense this season, ranking 31st overall, last against the pass and 29th against the run. Last year, Jones fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, now with the New Orleans Saints, and hired 73-year-old Monte Kiffin. Jones expressed confidence in Kiffin earlier this week and isn’t second-guessing the decision to hire him.
The Cowboys (5-5) have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for 400 or more yards an NFL-record four times, gave up a league-record 40 first downs to the Saints two weeks ago, and watched Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson catch 14 passes for 329 yards against them Oct. 27.
Injuries have hurt the unit, with defensive end DeMarcus Ware (thigh injury) missing three games and cornerback Morris Claiborne (two games), safety J.J. Wilcox (three games) and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (one game) also having been lost to injuries.
Jones also made the move to have Garrett no longer call the offensive plays. Instead, offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan is doing it.
It’s been met with mixed results.
The Cowboys had a franchise-low nine rushing attempts in a Nov. 3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, dealt with injuries to wide receiver Miles Austin and lost starting guard Brian Waters to a season-ending triceps injury.
But Jones is confident the return of several players from injuries will help over the final six weeks of the season and push the team into the playoffs.
Jones noted he plans on serving as GM for another 10 to 15 years. He has told the players he’d rather be with them than do anything else.
“Of course, I said it, and I really meant that, and just think about that a minute: Why wouldn’t you?” Jones said. “One of the reasons that I, to some degree, have taken the risks that I have over the years, and kind of had the professional life that I followed, is so that I get to decide when enough is enough. God willing. So I do get to decide that.
“It’s a certain part of working for yourself if you still are standing when the time comes. So I get to really make that decision, and I want to make it in a way that I think is in the best interest of the team, franchise and really our fans. A lot of people just need to hear me say I know it’s in our best interest for us to operate the way we have.
“It’s unfortunate that over these last five or six years that we haven’t had a few things turn right for us at the end of the season — needing to win one of out of two games to get into the playoffs, having a healthy quarterback, all of those things. But we’ve been a lot closer than it seems.”