Jerry Jones is attempting to say all the right things at a time when his team is doing all the wrong things.
The “disappointed” Dallas Cowboys owner has done an about-face on embattled head coach Jason Garrett, whose seat is hotter than a south Texas summer. On Tuesday, Jones lobbed a major vote of confidence in Garrett’s direction, categorizing him as a “top coach” and refuting speculation about a possible in-season dismissal.
“I have felt that we have a lot invested in Jason Garrett,” Jones said, per The Athletic. “He’s evolved into what I think is a top coach. He would be a very sought-after coach if he were out here in the open market. There are a lot of plusses there. He brings a lot to the table. I can genuinely say that is not a thought I’m having, so it would be unfair to our fans for me to have any indication about what I might think is the future is as far as head coach. Everybody is aware that we’re on the last year of his agreement. But that really just means that we can all sit down and take a look at things at the end of the year. That was the case when we had won the first three ball games, and it’s still the case today after losing the last three.”
On Wednesday, Jones continued his curious commentary, explaining from the NFL owners meetings in Florida that Garrett is a championship-caliber coach.
“Well, first of all, he’s got a lot of great coaching qualities, but nobody has them all,” he said, per ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. “To some degree we have invested a lot of money in the evolving of Jason as a head coach … There’s a lot of things that make him A+ across the board. You’ve got the look at the entire picture, and now he’s evolved into maybe to win some Super Bowls.”
To be sure, Garrett has compiled an 80-62 record across 10 seasons at the helm, including a 2-3 mark in the playoffs. He’s never led the Cowboys beyond the Divisional Round. Which probably explains why Jones, no stranger to cracking open his checkbook, deferred on Garrett for the 2019 campaign, forcing the lame duck to play out the final year of his contract.
Why also probably explains Jones projecting Garrett as a hot free-agent commodity, should he reach the market. He doesn’t need to fire him before 2020 and risk the airing of dirty laundry. The end result — Garrett’s ouster — is seemingly inevitable at this point, via one avenue or another.
Still, Jones can do without urinating on the fan base’s collective legs and try to sell it as rain. He doesn’t need to dress up Garrett or artificially inflate his value, because most see right through the charade. Because these fluff-quotes ultimately fall on deaf ears, rationalized as Jerry being Jerry.
And in three months, give or take, these quotes will recirculate on social media for — you guessed it! — the wrong reasons.
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Garrett Accepts Responsibility for Loss
Coaches coach and players play. Neither party shouldered the loss at East Rutherford, as the execution was sloppy, the gameplan was shoddy, and the in-game management was abysmal. The players teetered between flat and apathetic, going so far as to Garrett.
As the club’s lightning rod, he absorbed the most criticism, with both Cowboys fans and the national media calling for his firing. And while the organization isn’t caving to the pressure, Garrett admitted fault for not having his squad prepared to beat a winless opponent.
“How the players execute is a direct reflection of the coaches,” he said, per The Athletic.
Witten Vents Frustration Amid Jets Loss [WATCH]
Jason Witten uttered what was on every Cowboys fan’s mind amid last week’s brutal loss to the New York Jets.
As captured by NFL Films, Dallas’ veteran tight end rued the offense’s inability to find the end zone and its proclivity to settle for the leg of kicker Brett Maher.
“I’m gonna say this as calmly as I know how: Field goals aren’t going to win this (expletive) game, man!” Witten said, not very calmly, to TEs coach Doug Nussmeier. “We need a touchdown!”
Witten benefited from the rash of issues in the WR corps. He tied for a team-high with seven targets, catching five for 57 yards in the 24-22 defeat — his biggest output of the season.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL