The Cowboys lost in ugly fashion once again Sunday, meaning the Jones family was going to be asked about its opinion of its still-new coaching staff.
The question arrived Monday to Cowboys EVP and director of player personnel Stephen Jones, who remained firm in his belief in Mike McCarthy.
"I know we've got the right head guy for the job," Jones said during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan, via Rob Phillips of the team's official site. "These things just take time. I know our fans are frustrated. We certainly understand the criticism that's come our way. But we've got to go to work."
There's a couple of interesting between-the-lines details here to note. First, we're progressed from questions about the Cowboys assistants -- Mike Nolan, coordinator of the league's 27th-ranked defense in yards allowed and 31st in points allowed, for example -- to questions about the man in charge of them, McCarthy. It's a natural progression for a team that continues to lose by wide margins, most recently to an NFC East rival by 22 points in a division that is still winnable because of its widespread mediocrity.
But if the team doesn't start to show signs of a turnaround, those questions will only become louder and more prevalent.
The second detail to note is that Jones specified he knows Dallas has the right head guy for the job. Now, Jones went on to defend the entire staff -- "It's the first year with this group," he said -- but if things don't improve, well, it's hard to envision this staff remaining the same by Christmas.
"You know Jerry and I are big believers in sticking with the staff," Jones said. "We've just got to give them their opportunity to work with these guys and continue to implement what they're trying to get accomplished."
These answers are perfectly acceptable for a team in the midst of a rebuild, but that isn't these Cowboys. Dallas was a massive disappointment last year, leading to the firing of Jason Garrett, and the 2019 Cowboys are significantly better than what the 2020 Cowboys have been. The loss of Dak Prescott obviously hurts, but Dallas was lucky to have one win to its name before Prescott suffered his season-ending ankle injury.
Now that they've lost Andy Dalton to a concussion, it seems the shower is turning into a storm. After too long, that could become a flood. Jones and the Cowboys are banking on the storm calming enough to allow McCarthy to make his imprint on the franchise for more than just one season.
"You're gonna watch a team evolve over time," Jones said in response to a question about fan frustration, via The Athletic's Jon Machota. "Mike McCarthy has proven he can do it year-in and year-out. ... I'm not sticking my head in the sand. I understand there's gonna be frustration. We deserve criticism, but I do think this will evolve."
Science will tell you evolution doesn't happen overnight. The Cowboys might need that process to speed up a bit if they want to salvage 2020.