This is how far the proud Dallas Cowboys have sunk.
Owner Jerry Jones stood in the middle of the locker room Sunday's following his team's wild shoot out loss to the Denver Broncos beaming with pride over what he called a moral victory.
Never mind that the Cowboys blew leads of 14-0 in the first quarter and 48-41 in the fourth quarter while watching quarterback Peyton Manning carve of the defense with 414 yards passing and four touchdowns. The 16-year veteran also ran for a score as the Broncos moved to 5-0 on the season.
Or that quarterback Tony Romo wasted a career-best performance in which he outplayed Manning for much of the day with a team-record 506 yards passing and five touchdowns only to tarnish it with an interception with 2 minutes, 4 seconds left to set up the Broncos' game winning field goal with no time left on the clock.
The Cowboys (2-3) dropped under .500 for the first time since last season and are now in a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the hapless NFC East.
All Jones is concerned with is coming close to beating the undefeated Broncos, considered by many to be the best team in football, is that the Cowboys found something to build on.
"I do. I know what’s going to happen to me when I say this, but that’s a good term," Jones said." This is a morale victory. It’s not a loser talking here. We can build off this. I feel as good as you could possible feel at 2-3. We are going to win enough games to get where we want to be. And get knocking on the door to where we want to be. This was a moral victory to day for us..Yes."
That's a long way from the three Super Bowl title teams of the 1990's but it is the reality of an organization that is now 18-19 since the start of the 2011 season and 130-131 in it's 260 games with just one playoff win since 1997.
The Cowboys went all in to put a winner on the field in 2013 in off season following a second straight 8-8 season in 2012 and Jones said he saw the seeds of it paying off in the shoot out with the Broncos, especially when it comes to Romo and the offense.
Romo didn't beat Manning but he lived up to Jones' off-season charge of giving him Manning-like input on Sunday. Jones said it will pay dividends going forward.
"I see the fundamentals of what our plans were when we were in the off season and Romo was going to take more of a responsibility," Jones said. "If he plays like that. We are going to have a heck of year and will be knocking on the door. We will beat most teams if we play like that."Clarence Hill