Jerry Jones: 'Boys can survive until Tony Romo returns

After feeling as "low as a crippled cricket's ass" following Tony Romo's injury, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has risen to a more optimistic level.

The Cowboys will be without Romo and Dez Bryant for weeks, but Jones believes his team can do more than merely remain buoyant during that stretch.

"If we improve within because they're not here and then we have them come back, which will make us better when they do return, then I think we've got a chance to be a better team," Jones said Thursday, via "That's certainly the way I look at it. But from the standpoint of them not being here and falling off the map, I don't see that at all. The game is not designed that way. There's too many people that have to get on the field and play the game."

Jones' optimism is admirable, considering his two best players are in the medical room, not on the field.

The Dallas defense has given a reason for enthusiasm, especially with tackling machine Sean Lee returning to his play-making form. The Cowboys will need to rely on a stingy defense and a running game to help them get through their Romo-less stint.

"That's going to be quite the challenge," Jones said of winning without Romo. "I do think that we can win, yes, but competition is going to have a lot to say about it. I certainly know that if Tony Romo were not available to us at any time, I know what all of our expectations are. The wagon train has got to get to California, as Barry Switzer used to say. We may burn these wagons as we go, float the Mississippi, but anyway, the wagon train has got to go. Not trying to be cute, but no, the team, the Cowboys, we have figure out ways to excel and win, and when we do, it should be inspirational."

One key phrase in Jones' comical ramble: "Competition is going to have a lot to say about it."

As we saw Thursday night, the NFC East is a floundering mess. Given the competition, maybe Brandon Weeden can keep the ship steered straight without running into an iceberg, until Romo returns. Jones believes he can.

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