The Cowboys’ mercurial owner affirmed that neither he nor team VP Stephen Jones has personally met with Meyer. But he didn’t say anything about speaking to him.
“I can confirm that it’s absolutely not correct. We have not met with any coach,” were Jones’ exact words during Tuesday’s appearance on 105.3 The Fan.
Jones’ denial was in response to a report by NFL Network’s Jane Slater which claimed that Dallas has a “very real interest” in Meyer, who’s also held head-coaching stints at Florida and Utah, and who’s been closely linked to the Cowboys throughout the season.
“Jerry Jones says Jason Garrett will remain the coach but I can confirm a very real interest in Urban Meyer,” Slater tweeted on Dec. 6, hours after the 6-7 Cowboys suffered their third straight defeat. “In fact, I’m told Stephen Jones spoke with him recently. Lincoln Riley remains a strong candidate & file this name as a possibility Clemson OC Tony Elliott per sources.”
Some have misappropriated Meyer’s pro-Cowboys comments, made in October, failing to realize he was unofficially speaking for Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, a reported target of Jones. If Meyer were Riley, this is how he thinks he’d feel about the legendary NFL franchise, which could soon be on the hunt for Garrett’s successor.
“That’s the one. Great city. They got Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott. You got a loaded team…The one job in pro football that you say, ‘I got to go do that,’” Meyer said.
Presented at the time with an opportunity to snuff out ever-present rumors, a self-serving Jones instead proceeded to dump lighter fluid on an already raging fire.
“For Urban Meyer to say that is a compliment. Period. I really know that. The job is a great job,” Jones said on Oct. 22, via the Dallas Morning News. “Now, that’s not implying that I made it that way or I don’t make it that way. It’s just the place to be.”
Jones has since announced that Garrett will remain the team’s coach until the end of the 2019 campaign, whenever that is. But unless Dallas finds its way to the NFC Championship Game, at a minimum, they’re expected to move on from the 53-year-old.
Meyer, 55, should be among the first round of interviews that Jones sets up when — not if — the Cowboys’ coaching search kicks off in earnest.
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Jimmy Johnson Pushes for Garrett’s Removal
Like so many former Cowboys, Jimmy Johnson is not happy with the current product. The ex-Dallas coach-turned-FOX Sports analyst recently put the team in his crosshairs, critiquing the laissez-faire culture allowing inmates to run the $5.5 billion asylum.
“The No. 1 motivator is fear. Fear of letting down your teammates, being embarrassed or fear of losing the job. Where is the fear in Dallas? There’s no fear in Dallas. It’s a country club where everybody is buddies,” Johnson said, per ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Of course, this culture is harbored by Garrett, whose passivity has reached meme-level proportions. With nobody to whip the Cowboys into shape, The Star more closely resembles Club Med — football’s sanctuary city, where accountability is outlawed.
Garrett resides on the hottest of coaching seats, his contract set to expire after the season, and there’s a better-than-good chance he’s replaced in 2020. Johnson, though, hopes it’s a certainty, strongly urging the Cowboys to find a new leader of men no matter what transpires.
“I don’t think so,” Johnson said Sunday of Garrett returning to the Cowboys, per Yahoo Sports. “I think even if they win the division and even if they’re in the playoffs — I don’t see them winning a playoff game — and I think the negativity in Dallas and around the Cowboys right now, it would be miserable if he continued to be the head coach.
“Nobody would be happy if he continued to be the head coach a year from now.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL