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Jerry Jones: Cowboys' red-zone struggles 'not a long-range concern'

The Dallas Cowboys have moved the ball well enough with Mike McCarthy calling plays through three weeks between the 20s but have come up woefully shy in the red zone.

After scoring touchdowns on three of four red zone trips in Week 1, the Cowboys have cratered the past two weeks, going 2 of 6 in Week 2 and 1 of 5 in Week 3's loss to Arizona. Dallas' 15 red-zone possessions are tops in the NFL, but it's scored TDs on just six of those drives. The Cowboys' 40% conversion rate is tied for the fourth-worst in the NFL through three weeks.

Speaking Wednesday on 105.3 The Fan, owner Jerry Jones alluded to the small sample size early in the season but noted it's an area the Cowboys must improve after their first loss of the season.

"I think the thing we need to zero in on is when we get that ball down in there close, we've got to get touchdowns," he said. "And that's probably across the board over these last three ball games. We got a long time to go in this season. We got a lot of room to really adjust and correct these things. While it is something to note, it's not a long-range concern."

The Cowboys generated a season-high 416 yards on Sunday but scored a season-low 16 points due to their 20% red-zone conversion rate.

After marching down the field and spreading the field to get one-on-one matchups, quick-winning throws and positive runs, Dallas' offense bogs down when the field is compressed.

Per Next Gen Stats, the Cowboys have -27 rush yards over expected on 37 carries inside the 20-yard line, worst in the NFL. Dak Prescott has completed 13 of 28 passes for 74 yards with three TDs and an INT on 30 dropbacks with one sack in the red zone. His -13.8 red-zone EPA is the worst among all QBs through three weeks.

With former Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott visiting Dallas in Week 4 as a member of the New England Patriots, there's been talk of how much the Cowboys miss Zeke's bruising running in the red zone. It's an idea that Jones dismissed.

"Zeke's unique physicalness is always nice to have -- not to be trite about it -- it's very good to have," Jones said. "We think of physical on short yardage and probably should, but I don't think that physicalness from the running back is contributing to us not getting the end zone. It is not."

As for the hoopla surrounding Zeke's return to Dallas, Jones indicated the Cowboys could be planning something before Sunday's game.

"I don't want to blow a surprise," he said.

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