FRISCO, Texas – Jerry Jones could never have imagined he'd be sitting in this position before the halfway point of the season.
That's not an assumption. The Cowboys' owner and general manager said so himself on Tuesday morning, as he fielded questions about this bewildering season.
But even in looking at his injury-ravaged roster and his 2-5 record, Jones said he could take solace in one positive – which is his decision to hire Mike McCarthy to oversee this process.
"Certainly, we couldn't have anticipated being at this stage with our team this year," Jones said. "But if I were going to hire for head coach, that we're going to be at this stage this year and work through this for the betterment of what's in store for us for the rest of the year and for what's for us in the future, I've got my man."
Those words might ring a bit hollow right now, in the midst of one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory. The Cowboys entered this year with legitimate chances of winning the NFC East and contending for the conference crown.
And while it's fair to note that the NFC East is completely up for grabs, this is just not the way anyone imagined it would look. Almost half of the Cowboys' salary cap is sitting on injured reserve, as headliners like Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins are out for the year.
Even still, Jones was adamant that McCarthy is a coach who can not only build for the future, but get the most out of the talent that's still remaining.
"We have that in Mike McCarthy as our coach," he said. "We have a resolve. We have the ability, if anybody does, to get good football players. We have the financial ability to get good football players."
He added: "We have good football players. You guys will admit when we started, throughout the pro football kingdom, we were believed to have had great personnel to start this year with. We don't have a bunch of it now. But that still doesn't mean you shouldn't be trying – not trying, but winning some football games."
That's going to be the challenge the rest of the way, and it's obviously a steep one. The Cowboys have been outscored, 63-13, since Prescott exited the lineup. If that weren't enough, Andy Dalton's status for Sunday is now in question after he suffered a concussion in Washington on Sunday.
No one wants to hear it at this point, but this is a far cry from the team Jones thought he'd be watching just two short months ago.
"We're far apart from that -- not excuses, but we just don't have that team out there right there," he said.
Jones also made the point that it's easy to be in charge when things are going well – when there's no adversity. Obviously, adversity has hit the Cowboys hard in 2020.
With that in mind, he reiterated his point – that he hired the right guy in McCarthy to help see them through it.
"That was one of the things we wanted here when we made a change in our coaching after Jason Garrett," Jones said. "We wanted someone that, in case the you-know-what hit the fan, that had the credibility and had the do-ability to do what? Stand tall and strong as the head coach. And he's doing that."