ARLINGTON (105.3 The Fan) - Jerry Jones stood in front of the media outside the Cowboys locker room and attempted to answer questions about how good his football team really is after they fell to 0-3 against winning teams on Sunday night.
Jones was asked about the Cowboys struggles against teams currently in the playoff picture and if he was concerned with four over .500 teams remaining on their upcoming schedule.
"No. I'm concerned just because we played a good team tonight. It would have been a big win for us," Jones said of the 28-24 loss to the Vikings. "Even though we were at home, it would have been a big win for us to get, and especially to come back and do it with a lot of good performances we had tonight. But, we were short, and that means we have a bigger challenge now for these next seven ballgames."
After the loss, the Cowboys have a record of 5-4 in a very difficult NFC conference. So, is it division or bust for Dallas to get into the playoffs?
"I don't know. I haven't looked at all the scores today. It's early, I think, for me to say that's the only way or not the only way is to win the division," Jones said. "But, you know, you got to play teams like Minnesota. We got some teams coming up that get out there and compete with Minnesota. Between Chicago and Detroit, they (present the) same challenges, and we got to go on the road to (play) some of those. This was one we'd like to have won for all of those reasons."
Dallas now finds themselves in a tie for the division lead with the Philadelphia Eagles, and their rival has a much easier road to navigate down the stretch. After home games against the Patriots and Seahawks, four of Philadelphia's final five games are against teams with a combined record of 5-23 (Giants x 2, Dolphins, Redskins).
Meanwhile, Dallas has the Patriots, Rams, and Bills left on their schedule. Not to mention two teams that should be better than their records show in the Bears and Lions.
But the most important game left on the schedule between Dallas and Philadelphia will be played in the City of Brotherly Love on Dec. 22. Jones just hopes the game will mean something when that time comes.
"It was disappointing. Disappointing," Jones said of Sunday night's loss. "We'll have to pay for this one. Hopefully, it won't be terminal."