Jerry Jones is seeing things. His optimism is crossing the boundaries of reality.
“I like our offensive line when it stacks up against the Rams, to be specific since we’re comparing the Rams,” Jones told the radio show on Friday. “But I like our offense line. I think it’s fair to say we’ve both got good running backs. The quarterback — I remember Goff when he first came in, they kind of moved him along at little slower pace that Dak got to come in. But I know we’ve been just as proud of Dak as those that are Rams fans have been proud of their quarterback. We’ve done that and had that feeling in the past. So when I see them executing in a way that creates the offense that they’ve got, I look at our personnel — I don’t have to reach to basically see that.”
There are many glaring flaws in this comparison. One of those flaws is in the passing game. The Rams have Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods along with a developing young tight end in Gerald Everett and an outstanding pass-catching running back in Todd Gurley.
The Cowboy, meanwhile, have receivers Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Deonte Thompson, Terrance Williams and Tavon Austin. You have to list all of them, because the first is just an unreliable as the last. Ezekiel Elliott, while one of the most talented runners in the NFL, has never had more than 32 receptions in an NFL season. Only of one their tight ends have caught the football — Geoff Swaim has eight receptions for 65 yards through three games.
But Jones was prepared to defend that counterpoint.
“You say, ‘Well, we might not have the established receiver that they have.’ Last year, they had Austin. We’ve got Austin this year,” Jones said. “… When I look at what we might be able to do and I look at personnel, move up with what I know we want to do with our personnel, I see that I don’t think it’s reaching to think that maybe we could approach that kind of production.”
Jones trying to hang his argument on Austin provided additional comedy to the comparison. The Rams traded the receiver to the Cowboys because, essentially, they were better off without him. In the final five games of the 2017 season, Austin had just three receptions and 18 carries for the Rams. They were barely using him as a receiver, and those carries were best-served to Gurley.
But please, Jerry, go on.
“I look over on defense,” Jones said. “They’ve got an outstanding defense. They’ve got some pretty high powered personnel when you think of [Ndamukong] Suh and you think of some of the corners they’ve got. But our bunch is playing pretty good, too. … When I look at what they are as a team, I have visions of being like that.”
The Rams were scoring 35 points per game going into Week 4. The Cowboys are scoring 13.7 points per game. Is it Jones’ expectation that the Cowboys should start scoring 30 points?
“I didn’t say that,” Jones said. “You asked me about the Rams, how they played Thursday night. You asked me for when I see the Rams, do I see the Cowboys doing something. And you’re going to take that to 35 points per game, and that’s what I’m going to read about tomorrow. That’s [expletive]. The whole thing I’m saying is, I can see similarities. I can see talent similarities. I can see the quality of players similarities with a lot of their options.”
Even if he’s not promising the Rams’ production in points, he’s still grasping at straws in this comparison. Goff has thrown for 351.5 yards per game, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions while Prescott (with one fewer game) has thrown for 166 yards per game, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Elliott has rushed for 274 yards and two touchdowns with 11 receptions for 37 yards — Gurley (with one extra game) has rushed for 338 yards and four touchdowns with 194 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
The host responded by saying he didn’t see the comparison.
“That’s why you’re doing radio and they’re doing the coaching,” Jones said. “You’re absolutely right, because I’m frustrated with that question. You’re putting that in my mouth, and I didn’t say that. What I’m saying is, if you match up us against the Rams, … then I can show you some similarities and I can answer your questions as to why Rams would even come out of my mouth.”
For those thoroughly confused about what Jones’ point is, exactly, you’re not alone.