Jerry Jones keeps his eyes fixed on the playoffs

You have to love the optimism going on down in Dallas.

All you have to do is understand that all 1-4 teams are not created equally. Once you buy into that general thought, you’re OK.

“I guess we think we’re a better 1-4 team than some teams that are 1-4,” Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I mean mentally. They don’t think they might not win the next game. Gosh, we might not win this next one. This team thinks … I still think they think they’re going to win this next game. Now, we’ve got work to do and all that."

If that doesn’t do it for you, well owner Jerry Jones stepped out, yet again, and said he believes the Cowboys can make the playoffs.

“A lot of people say the old saying, 'You are what you are,' when you look at 1-4," Jones said on his weekly radio show, according to the report. “We are not that. Our team is doing some very good things. I believe we can turn things around. While the odds are against us, we can make all the things happen that we wanted to do this year.

"I believe in these guys. I believe in the coaching staff. I believe in Wade Phillips. It's going to be quite a challenge to be in the playoff hunt. Just look at it mathematically. We have a high percentage of our remaining games to win. This is a league that is real close. All you've got to do is look at the scores and see how close these teams are. So it's a real challenge.

"On the other hand, we've got a team that is playing well. This isn't a rationalization, but we're actually better each week. And we are playing better with the exception of the one thing that's got us in this position, and that's these unfortunate penalties."

So there you have it. If the Cowboys can just knock off those darn penalties, they’ll be fine. Most probably agree the roster is more talented than 1-4, but in a strong division they just have not left themselves much wiggle room. Instead of continually talking about the playoffs, they should focus on getting to .500. That’s a minimum three-week project.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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