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December 30, 2013

Jerry Jones frustrated and disappointed in another 8-8 finish; continues to back Jason Garrett

The Cowboys finished 8-8 for the third straight year and missed the playoffs for a fourth straight year _ seemingly to the shock and awe of owner Jerry Jones.

The end came Sunday in a 24-22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in a third straight season-ending loss in a winner take all game for the NFC East title and the playoffs.

"It is unbelievable, unthinkable really for me to be sitting here three years in a row and this game ended up putting us at .500 and this game eliminating us from going to the playoffs," Jones said. "I had thought that some of the changes we had made this year would put us in better shape. It’s extremely disappointing for our fans. This is very disappointing. There’s no feel good in this loss, because there was a lot at stake obviously not the least of which is getting to come right back here next week and play. We’re very disappointed."

Jones made wholesale changes in the coaching staff after last season's 8-8 finish, led by the firing of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and hiring 73-year old Monte Kiffin.

Coach Jason Garrett remained and is now 29-27 in three and half years as head coach, including three straight 8-8 finishes.

Jones declined to talk about if he would again make any staff changes but again maintained that Garrett's job was safe.

"I’m not discussing that at all," Jones said. "I have spoken a little more appropriate time here about three or four weeks ago. I said at that time that I was with Jason that I thought that his future and what he’s going to be doing with us was good. But this isn’t the time and I don’t even like the way it feels or looks to speak to anything about our coaches."
Pressed again on Garrett's return, Jones said: "I said that a month ago. I stand by what I said a month ago."

There won't be any changes at head coach, though defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is not guaranteed to return. And the owner won't be making any changes with the general manager.

Jones said he will remain in charge as owner/general manager and remains committed to getting the Cowboys back in the playoffs.

"I am not discouraged at all," Jones said. "I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing and have initially got involved if the picture couldn’t be improved. I certainly do believe and am committed, committed with any and all resources that I have, to win and win more than we’re winning at .500 each year."

Asked if he was embarrassed to be .500 for the last three years and 136-136 since 1997, Jones pointed to his pride and joy: AT&T Stadium.

"Would you get embarrassed if you were standing in this stadium?" Jones said. "Seriously. The answer is no. Not at all."

 Clarence Hill



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