IRVING, Texas – Jerry Jones believes the Cowboys are closer to contention than their 4-11 record suggests, and he "won't make change for change sake" this offseason with regard to personnel decisions.
"Just for change for change sake? No, we're not going to have that because I do believe we're closer than this record indicates," Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. "On the other hand, I don't blame it all on the quarterback."
The Cowboys' owner/general manager is referring to the 11 games quarterback Tony Romo has missed with a fractured collarbone. The Cowboys are 1-10 starting three different backups in Romo's place. The third, Kellen Moore, will make his second straight start in this Sunday's season finale against the Washington Redskins.
Jones is disappointed the team didn't win more games without Romo in the lineup. Seven of those 10 losses came by a touchdown or less with the Cowboys holding a lead or tied in the fourth quarter.
But Jones has reasons for optimism, including a young, talented offensive line; Darren McFadden's near-1,000 yard season behind the line; and obviously Romo and others getting healthy for 2016.
"All those things make me think that we're a lot closer than this record looks like," Jones said. "Does that mean that under any circumstances we're not going to do everything we can (to improve)?"
That answer is no – the front office will indeed look to strengthen the roster, as it does every offseason. Jones has stated that backup quarterback will be a high priority given the team's struggles without Romo. And between free agency and the draft, roster turnover is inevitable across the league each year.
The motivation for improvement is there, Jones said, because he does believe the team is built to win games with Romo over the coming years, despite the obvious disappointment from this season.