Jerry Jones tried ripping the coaching staff of the Dallas Cowboys after the first loss in the current three-game skid, then took the gentle approach following the second.
The team’s owner and general manager just looked mad at the world on an embarrassing night in Chicago and didn’t seem to care that Dallas was still in first place in the NFC East after a 31-24 loss to the Bears on Thursday that wasn’t nearly that close.
‘‘Until we can win a football game, I don’t care what kind of contention we’re in,’’ Jones said. “We’ve got to start playing and winning a football game so that we can play better than we played tonight.”
The anger was still evident a day later when Jones didn’t like the way his radio show started Friday and cursed several times. He appeared to hang up after one of the expletives, but it was explained that the system cut off the call because of the language. Jones was reconnected, and the mood wasn’t much lighter for the rest of the show.
“Now, go on with your question, but I’m going to give you the answer I’m going to give you this morning,” Jones said early in the call. ‘‘I don’t like your attitude. I’ve been traveling all night and I don’t have the patience to jack with you today.’’
The Cowboys (6-7) have never made the playoffs in a season with two losing streaks of at least three games. The first skid came after a 3-0 start. Despite seven losses in 10 games, Dallas will be no worse than tied with Philadelphia for the NFC East lead with three games remaining.
Just as he did after a Thanksgiving loss to Buffalo, Jones said he wasn’t going to fire coach Jason Garrett before the end of the season. Thursday’s loss led to questions of whether Garrett’s players have quit on their coach.
“That’s false, false as ever,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “And when you get to the playoffs, all of that is gone. It is washed out the window. We believe in our coach. We believe in his message.”
OBJ fine with Cleveland
A day after being vague about his future in Cleveland, receiver Odell Beckham Jr. denied he’s unhappy about his first season with the Browns. Beckham addressed the issue on Twitter on Friday, writing “I NEVER said I was not happy in Cleveland, just like everyone else I’m hopeful for better results. Period. Next story plzz.” The Browns are 5-7 and Beckham is averaging a career-low 4.8 catches per game . . . Tight end Jack Doyle and the Colts agreed to a three-year contract extension, the team announced. The NFL Network reported the extension is worth more than $21 million in new money, with the potential to be worth up to almost $24 million with incentives, per a source informed of the deal. The seven-year veteran is in the midst of one of his best seasons as a professional, catching 36 passes for 377 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Doyle has caught 236 passes for 2,105 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Vinatieri, Hilton out for Colts
The Colts will be without kicker Adam Vinatieri and Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton (shoulder) Sunday at Tampa Bay. Vinatieri didn’t work out Thursday or Friday because of a left knee injury. The NFL’s career scoring leader has missed 14 kicks this season — eight field goals and six extra points. Indy claimed kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers this week and he’ll replace Vinatieri. Hilton will miss his fifth game in six weeks . . . The Jets will likely be without Jamal Adams (ankle) and Brian Poole (concussion) in their secondary against Miami. Their backfield could also be missing Le’Veon Bell, who was sent home Friday with an illness that sidelined him for two practices . . . Daniel Jones missed his third straight practice because of a sprained right ankle, making it likely Eli Manning will return as the Giants starting quarterback on Monday night against the Eagles . . . Receiver Julio Jones (shoulder), tight end Austin Hooper (knee), and first-round pick Chris Lindstrom are returning to the Falcons’ offense against the Panthers. Lindstrom, the former Boston College standout, has been activated off the IR and will start at right guard.