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December 30, 2013

Jason Garrett balances pride in players for their fight with disappointment in coming up short

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told his team following last week's victory against the Redskins how much proud he was of them and their ability to fight through adversity.

He repeated those remarks in a somber post-game lockerroom following the 24-22 season ending loss to the Eagles.

The Cowboys played without starting quarterback Tony Romo yet came close to upsetting the Eagles, foiled by a last-minute interception from backup quarterback Kyle Orton.

The Cowboys finished 8-8 for the third straight year and came up short in a winner take all game for the NFC East title and the playoffs for the third straight year.

"Obviously, our goal is to make the playoffs," Garrett said. "We had a great opportunity to win the division here. I thought our team fought and battle through adversity all year and withing this game to give ourselves a chance to win. I told them again, I'm proud to be a part of the group. "

Garrett, however, said fighting hard and not making the playoffs is not good enough. The goal is to make the playoffs and the Cowboys came up short again.

"At the end of the day we didn't get the job done," Garrett said. "We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and see how can take the next step."

The Cowboys are 29-27 in three and half years as head coach, including in each of the past three years.

Clarence Hill

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