Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones wants his team to use Sunday's 26-6 loss to the Washington Commanders as a learning opportunity ahead of a playoff showdown with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"There's no doubt in my mind that as a team, not just individually, but as a team we can come back and take this nightmare—whatever you want to call it—and turn it into a plus," Jones said, per Todd Archer of ESPN. "I'm thrilled that we've got the opportunity, and I'm thrilled that we didn't have to look over there at the Philadelphia game and the San Francisco game and say, 'Boy, did we mess up.'"
Had the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers fallen to the Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys could have earned the NFC's No. 1 seed with a win.
Instead, both the Eagles and 49ers won and Dallas looked nothing like a team ready to compete for a Super Bowl crown.
The offense managed a single touchdown as Dak Prescott went an ugly 14-of-37 for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The rushing attack posted a paltry 2.4 yards per carry, and the defense couldn't get the key stops against a Washington offense that had rookie Sam Howell under center.
If Dallas plays like that against Brady, its playoffs will be over quickly.