ARLINGTON, Texas – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones had tears in his eyes as he spoke to reporters outside the AT&T Stadium locker room.
“I have it because I’ve been in a very emotional locker room,” Jones said, “with a lot of other guys that are emotional.”
Inside, players used a variety of adjectives to describe the mood immediately after Thursday’s 26-15 loss to Buffalo, their sixth in the last nine games.
“Very disappointing,” wide receiver Amari Cooper said.
“It’s tough,” wide receiver Randall Cobb said.
“We were pissed,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said.
“We understand the type of team that we have and what we’re capable of,” linebacker Jaylon Smith said. “We’ve got to find a way to show it on game day.”
Yet the overriding message, from the players to Jones to head coach Jason Garrett, was about unity and perseverance in this upcoming final four-game stretch of the regular season.
At 6-6, the Cowboys still have a half-game lead on the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6), who play at Miami on Sunday. If the playoffs started Thursday night, Dallas would be in.
There’s still a lot of football to play. The team views that as a positive thing.
“We’ve got four games left to go and we lead our division at this moment and we control our own destiny,” Cobb said. “At the end of the day, we’re right in the thick of it. Everybody else can say that we’re out, but all it takes is winning one game and getting things rolling.”
Post-game questions centered around Garrett’s job security, but Jones emphatically stated that he would not make a coaching change. Every player asked on the subject backed Garrett, too.
“It’s not just on the coaching staff,” defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said. “I don’t feel like they did anything to hurt us.”
The narrative has been well established to this point: The Cowboys have yet to win a game against an opponent with a winning record this season. They jumped out a 7-0 lead Thursday with only their second opening-drive touchdown of the year.
But the Bills (9-3) ripped off 26 unanswered points before Dallas scored again with four minutes left. By then, a comeback was too late.
Despite their disappointment, no players described panic over their second loss in five days.
“I have so much confidence in the men in that locker room, the character that they have,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “I honestly wouldn’t want to be in this position with anybody else except those men. I’m so confident in what we’re going to do.”
Prescott was asked why that turnaround hasn’t happened yet.
“It will happen,” he said.