Ever the showman, Jerry Jones has changed his tune. And it may damage Cowboys Nation’s collective ears.
Before Thursday’s nationally-televised tilt against the Buffalo Bills, Dallas’ head honcho did an about-face on increasingly criticized coach Jason Garrett, whom Jones now stunningly considers (so he says publicly) a “master” at his craft.
“You won’t find anybody that knows how to do all the things to coach football any better than Jason Garrett does,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “He’s a master.”
This is quite the deviation from what Jones uttered following Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, when he vented extreme vexation over the Cowboys’ coaching deficiencies. It’s a change-up even from Wednesday, when Jones implied that Dallas would need to win the Super Bowl for Garrett, whose contract expires at year’s end, to stay put.
“Let me tell you: No one in this country has earned the right to say ‘I’m a Jason Garrett man’ more than me. I am his man,” Jones said, via SB Nation. “And we want the very same thing and that’s for our players to play at their very best, and we want his staff to coach at their very best. The bottom line is we get graded- I’m in business. I don’t have to win the Super Bowl in business every year. I can come in sixth and have a hell of a year. But in this business you’ve got to come in first. You’ve got to come in first. And so fundamentally you’ve asked for something that’s a very narrow window to begin with. I want Jason to get it done.”
More likely than not, this is merely strategy on Jones’ behalf. His team is under the Thanksgiving spotlight and facing a virtual must-win against 8-3 Buffalo. He’s heard nothing but bad-mouthing involving the Cowboys, which reflects on Jones — something he takes personally. The man has an ego, if you weren’t aware.
Presenting a united front at a time of great uncertainty, at a place of crossroads, is General Managing 101. And it appears to be fulfilling its intended purpose.
The Cowboys responded to days-long critique by dominating the Bills on their opening series, taking a quick 7-0 lead while Garrett — smiling, loose, and displaying uncharacteristic emotion — coaches for his professional life.
“Jason has tremendous respect of the players on this football team,” Jones said, via ESPN‘s Todd Archer. “I’ll assure you that you won’t find somebody that knows how to do all of the things a head coach has to do better than Jason Garrett … I’ve said this: to have the perfect picture, we just need to get him a Super Bowl, then we’ll settle up.”
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Garrett Reportedly Safe Until End of Season
Whenever that may be. This, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder, whose “high-ranking” source told him prior to kickoff that Jerry Jones and VP Stephen Jones will allow Garrett to finish the year “no matter what.”
It’s sensible as Garrett’s a lame duck, anyway, and Jones admitted his hope that the pointed commentary toward Dallas’ coaching staff will spark the spiraling squad, his attempt at making chicken salad from chicken you-know-what.
“Absolutely. A dream is that something that I might have looked like or said might have caused us to do something that made a difference,” Jones said, per Werder.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL