ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jerry Jones has consistently said he likes the direction of the Dallas Cowboys under coach Jason Garrett, but the owner/general manager called that kind of talk "hollow" after the Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day loss.
The 38-31 loss to the Washington Redskins dropped the Cowboys to 5-6 this season, putting them in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
The Cowboys failed to come back from a 25-point halftime deficit against the Redskins, the fourth consecutive home game the Cowboys have trailed by double digits.
"That would be real difficult right now because you would have to point to things like comebacks, and that's hollow when you are not winning the game," Jones said. "Or last week, we win one (against the Cleveland Browns) and we have to come back to win it, but we don't win it playing well. So that's hollow right now."
Jones noted that Garrett had not "lost the team," meaning the Cowboys continue to play hard. That, however, is meeting minimum requirements, not Jones' expectations for a proud franchise that has won only one playoff game in the last 15 seasons and employed six coaches during that span.
"I don't want to be talking about looking through," Jones said. "Our expectations were to compete for the playoffs and then whatever else we can get when you get there, compete for. We know you've got to be playing well when you get there. We've had some setbacks on some injuries, but that's not the difference out here right now at all."
Garrett did not directly answer a question about what progress the Cowboys have made during his tenure.
"We'd like to win more football games, like any coach would tell you," Garrett said. "What you have to do is you have to focus on how we do things, and ultimately if you do things well with the right kind of people, we feel like we're going to get the results that we all want.
"So we'll continue to battle hard and work hard and try to win games each and every week and try to play better in all three phases. We'll continue to do that."
The Cowboys are 18-17 under Garrett, with their record getting progressively worse each season. Dallas went 5-3 with Garrett as the interim coach in 2010, 8-8 last season and are 5-6 this season entering December.
There has been speculation in league circles the Cowboys could pursue Sean Payton if the suspended coach does not agree to a new contract with the New Orleans Saints, though Jones has distanced himself from those rumors.
"Yeah, I expect success," Jones said when asked if a lack of tangible success could force him to consider franchise-changing decisions this offseason. "Now, I don't have any implied or anything that I've said, 'Success, a level of success, or else.' I'm not going there and haven't -- and haven't gone there in my mind.
"I expected to come in here and win today. And I expected to win again and to win again. Under those circumstances, you don't have to think about those things."