PHILADELPHIA –The Cowboys took that country club and whopped the Eagles over the head with it in the second half Sunday.
Less than a week after former head coach Jimmy Johnson criticized the team dynamic as constructed by owner and GM Jerry Jones and current coach Jason Garrett, the Cowboys showed they weren't affected by this season's latest distraction in beating the equally-desperate Eagles. The two-time Super Bowl champion suggested that Jones' leadership undermines his head coach, who is to be fighting to save his job the rest of the season, Johnson told Dan Patrick.
Garrett and his players were asked about Johnson's comments frequently during their preparation for the Philadelphia trip, but promised it wasn't of any concern.
"I've been in this building for 10 years and I haven't seen him much, all due respect to him and the championships he won," tight end Jason Witten said after the game. "You can't allow that to get in the way, whether you win or you lose. You've got to stay focused and stay together. We did a good enough job to win, but we're still below .500 and we've got a lot of football to play."
Garrett, the subject of increasing fan and media questioning in recent weeks, has maintained the criticism he's taken doesn't bother him. The winner a game of two 3-5 teams, however, he'll have an easier road than Philadelphia's Andy Reid this week. At the end of Sunday's game, Philadelphia fans displayed large banners calling for Reid's job.
"If you've been around this league for any length of time, as a player or as a coach, you understand that it's week to week," Garrett said. "You have to do your best to enjoy your successes when you have them and fight through the adversities when you have them. You've got to put this game to bed just like we put them to bed when we lose. We've got to get on to the next challenge. We'll start getting ready for Cleveland tomorrow."
If the Cowboys controversy of the last week is proof of anything, it's that Johnson hasn't put to bed the rift that drove he and Jones apart after the team won Super Bowl XXVIII. While the team's owner and GM has been humbled in the two decades since, the Cowboys winning only one playoff game since 1996, Jones did his best Sunday to take the high road.
"I wish Jimmy the absolute best. I really do," Jones said. "I want him to be well thought of, I know he is, by our fans … and so I'm not going to talk about his comments in any way negative or anything like that. I just wish him the best – genuinely wish him the best."