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Where Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Sees 'Serious Upside'

"We've got upside, serious upside, on the defense,'' Jones said,

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys just gave up 31 points in a Week 1 loss, and yet team owner Jerry Jones - the eternal optimist - swears he came away from Thursday's loss at Tampa Bay with a warm-and-fuzzy feeling ....

About ... his defense?!

"What I see is a defense that's going to get better," Jones said Friday on  105.3 The Fan. "We have the athletes to get better, we have the scheme to get better. We were playing quality competition. I was really proud to see the good things that occurred during the ball game."

It's true about the "quality competition.'' There is no particular shame in being victimized by QB Tom Brady leading his Bucs to a last-second 31-29 victory.

After all, the Cowboys were nine-point underdogs.

After all, Brady now has recorded a ridiculous 49 fourth-quarters comeback in his NFL career.

"We're going to get better defensively and we didn't play bad against a good team,'' Jones said, citing the fact that Tampa Bay is the defending Super Bowl champions.

But where is the "upside''? Didn't Brady throw for 379 yards and four touchdowns? Didn't Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski render themselves virtually un-coverable? 

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Maybe Jerry is right about the "scheme.'' New defensive coordinator Dan Quinn certainly has this group playing at a level higher than it did a year ago. 

Maybe Jerry is right about his emphasis on youth, too; the centerpiece there is top rookie and first-round draft pick Micah Parsons, who played 51 of 65 defensive snaps and was a force.

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"When you're a young player and you actually get those snaps, you (grow) right before everybody's eyes,'' Jones said. "These young guys are going to do that for us ...

"We've got upside, serious upside, on the defense,'' Jones said, not ignoring the realities of starting the NFL season 0-1. "It's the one of the very best things, that if you had to have a positive you can come out with.''

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