Jerry Jones showed Tuesday another example of how far his optimism can reach.
During the first few minutes of a local radio interview, the Dallas Cowboys owner and general manger seemed to be having a great morning. Then he dropped the news that Pro Bowl defensive end Anthony Spencer is probably facing season-ending knee surgery.
But then Jones went right back to talking about how well defensive coaches Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli have utilized their talent upfront. He sounded nothing like an owner who recently learned he’s likely about to be without one of his top 10 players for the remainder of the season.
Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson said Sunday that the Cowboys have a disease called “optimistic infection.” Johnson made the case that the Cowboys think too highly of themselves after wins and the result is usually getting back to reality and suffering a loss the following week.
So does Jones’ frequent optimism rub off on his players in a negative way?
“I wouldn’t give me that much credit,” Jones told the New School show Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “Seriously. I am optimistic and will always be optimistic. These players are grounded in terms of what the reality of their role is. They’ve got to win most of the time against the guy that’s standing in front of them.
“From the standpoint of the franchise, from the standpoint of public posture, I think that’s what that is. That’s looking at it with the glass half-full rather than half-empty. That won’t change. That’s not necessarily being stubborn about it, that’s just the way it is. You need to be optimistic because you got days like finding out about Spencer. You’re going to have those kinds of things. That’s what goes with this.”
When asked about Johnson’s comments specifically, Jones said he’s known Johnson for 50 years and he’s always been the same, so his take wasn’t a surprise.
“This game needs to be played with enthusiasm,” Jones said. “It needs to be played with optimism. There’s enough setbacks and it calls on the players enough physically that you have to approach it with a positive attitude.
“Jimmy was known as ‘Jimmy Jump Up’ when we played on the team [at Arkansas]. When he got knocked down, he jumped right back up, so nobody understands better how you want to be optimistic when you compete. I do understand what he’s talking about. There’s no good from getting carried away and anointing our team a Super Bowl champion, sitting here at 2-1. Not in the NFL today.”