ARLINGTON, Texas –Given the way the Cowboys' playoff hopes were dashed on Christmas Eve, team owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he understood fans' frustration.
Having watched his team refrain from handing the ball to Ezekiel Elliott inside the Seattle 5-yard line late in the fourth quarter, Jones sounded as confused as anyone else.
"I think that, on hindsight, we all wish that we'd have tried Zeke in there," Jones said.
Despite that confusion, Jones didn't let the emotions of the moment get the better of him. Asked several times about his faith in the Cowboys' coaching staff, Jones gave a vote of confidence to head coach Jason Garrett.
"Just so we're clear about this, I do understand the frustration right after you lose a game that has as much meaningfulness as this ball game," he said. "But I get to look at a lot of different things and have been around a lot of good head coaches and coordinators. So I feel good about our head coach."
The Cowboys still have a chance to finish with a winning record next weekend in Philadelphia, but their goal of a return trip to the playoffs has now faded. This loss to Seattle means the Cowboys have not made back-to-back trips to the postseason since 2006-07. It also means that Garrett has reached the playoffs just twice in his seven seasons as the team's head coach.
"We played a team that has got a good chance to be in the playoffs out there, and we'll have a lot of time to think about it when that's not us in there," Jones said. "Believe you me, we'll be second-guessing some play calls, for sure."
However frustrated he might have been, though, Jones said he saw the positive in the Cowboys' current situation. Although it was a losing effort, Dak Prescott reached the 3,000-yard milestone for the second-straight season to open his career.
With all of that in mind, it was optimism that Jones opted to focus on – even in acknowledging the disappointing nature of the Cowboys' finish.
"I'm excited about our future with Dak at quarterback. I'm extremely excited about our future," he said. "There's no qualms, no issue if you're talking about any place else relative to anything to do with the coaching – within certain boundaries, but specifically at the top. We've just got to get it done better."