If you think, the Cowboys are facing a playoffs or bust mentality over the last four games, you should think again.
The Cowboys need to win out, starting Sunday against the Bengals, to likely ensure a playoff spot. But according to vice-president Stephen Jones, missing the playoffs will not usher in a host of franchise-altering changes in the offseason.
He likes the core of the organization and he believes the has a bright future with the return of several key injured players next year, like linebacker Sean Lee and Bruce Carter and safety Barry Church.
“We would like to think we can win them and get in the playoffs,” Jones said. “Regardless of what happens we are going to be back hard at it again. We got a lot of good young players on this team. A lot of good young players who are hurt who are going to be back like Sean Lee, Barry Church and Bruce Carter. And so there is a lot to be positive about our future as well. I like our group of players.”
Jones said the Cowboys are still focused hard on winning out this year. And they are optimistic they can ride their offense to the playoffs thanks to return of running back Demarco Murray. Combined with the improved play of quarterback Tony Romo and the breakout play of receiver Dez Bryant, Jones believes the Cowboys can outscore teams down the stretch.
But he also knows the defense, which has struggled without Lee and Carter, must get better over the last month. He believes that will come as replacement inside linebacker Dan Connor and Ernie Sims improve with more time on the field and the coordinator Rob Ryan tailors things to what they do best.
“We are still in the hunt,” Jones said. “We feel like offensively we are starting to come around now with DeMarco Murray back in the mix. We feel like we can score a lot of points. We feel like as we some of these guys more playing time especially at the linebacker position with Connor and Ernie we will continue to get better. We will design our defense to what these do best and we will improve.”