Jerry Jones has a way of articulating himself in public, especially when he's preening for the cameras, that is often hard to decode. "Jerryspeak" is a convoluted language full of unfinished sentences and mid-sentence leaps of logic that allows Jones to formulate seemingly contradictory opinions and positions simultaneously.
None of that ambiguity was present when Jones talked to 105.3 The Fan earlier today about the loss against the Eagles. For once, Jones didn't mince words when he voiced his disappointment with his team's performance:
"The stage was set," Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. "Gosh, we had one of the greatest crowds we’ve ever had in that stadium. They were ready to do their part, and we just didn’t do it on the field. We really stunk it up all the way around."
Like many fans, Jones is clearly disappointed by the outcome of the game. But his disappointment seems to be less about getting beat by a superior team, and more by the fact that the Cowboys didn't manage to play up to their own capabilities.
"Now, they’re a good team," Jones said of the Eagles, "but I’d like to think that we’re better than we looked, too."
Many postgame reports focus on the inability of the offense to put points on the board as the main factor in yesterday's loss - the defense is simply not good enough to win games by themselves if the offense doesn't show up. And Jones freely acknowledges that.
"Our team is a team that can’t let that defense stay out on the field," Jones said. "We know that going in. If you’re going to play us, you play us the way Philadelphia played us [Thursday].
Jones continues to believe in the potential of this team, but what's particularly worrying is that he diagnoses a lack of passion from the team:
"This bunch can do it. They can get the job done. We had a bad day. There’s a lot of specific reasons for having that bad day. We didn’t execute. We may not have played with the passion you would expect in a game like that. Don’t ask me why. And I guess if you can’t ask me, who can you ask?"
Many reasons have been offered for why the offense looked listless and unfocused yesterday. Tony Romo's health, the short turnaround from the Sunday night game, a conservative gameplan and many other reasons have been offered for yesterday's performance, but if even the bossman has no answer beyond "we had a bad day," then trouble may be brewing. Jones stops short of calling out specific players or coaches, but his "Don't ask me why" does carry a slightly passive aggressive undertone.
Jerry Jones is pissed. And when he's pissed, Jerryspeak goes out the window and in comes the straight-talking businessman who made his fortune wildcatting with Jones Oil and Land Lease.
In the end though, Jones reverts to his old spin doctor ways and points out - correctly - that the Cowboys are in a much better position than they were a year ago, and that a lot can still happen with four games left.
"That's really what we have to be thankful for. If there's anything yesterday was -- unlike a year ago, sitting in that dressing room, it was over. We didn't have any more to play," Jones said. "Well now then, we've got a quarter of our season left, we play the very guys that we were disappointed with how we played them last night. We play them again. We do play them up there, but we've got it all out here."
Right now, Jerry Jones is long on questions and short on answers. Perhaps he'll get some answers on Thursday Night against the Bears. We'll see whether he likes those answers.