- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jerry Jones believed that his Dallas Cowboys were capable of making a playoff run right up until the final minutes of the season.
You could consider that evidence that the Cowboys’ owner is delusional about the talent level of the team his general manager has assembled.
“What is nothing to fool yourself about is that we’re 8-8,” Jones said after the Giants handed the Cowboys a 31-14 loss with the NFC East title at stake. “We’ve got to do better than that.
“We had an opportunity to step up here and win a ballgame and go into the playoffs that I thought we would win. I am very surprised that we didn’t win it, but I accept the fact that whatever it is that we don’t have or didn’t do, we’ve got to look to get better.”
Jones’ franchise has won a grand total of one playoff game in 15 seasons. This team hasn’t made the playoffs the last two seasons after recording that lone playoff win.
Maybe Jones needs to come to grips with the possibility that the Cowboys’ core just isn’t good enough. But he’s not ready to deal with that reality.
“This is not the time for me to think about that, because just hours ago I thought this core group had an opportunity to go very far into the playoffs,” Jones said. “So I’m very disappointed. I’m frankly surprised that we didn’t do better and that we didn’t win this ballgame. I thought we could win this ballgame, not taking anything away from the Giants.
“I give them a lot of credit -- their coaching staff, their organization -- but right up until the end of the fourth quarter did it really dawn on me that we probably weren’t going to be in the playoffs. And that’s a shame, because we’ve got a team in here that I think is good enough to play and play well, but we didn’t show it tonight.”
The Cowboys didn’t show it half of their games this season, including four of the final five.