Jerry Jones addresses Urban Meyer 'absolutely' being open to coaching the Cowboys, status of Jason Garrett
With an emphatic victory over the rival Eagles, the last thing Jones is thinking about is a coaching change
Urban Meyer sure wouldn't mind seeing his phone light up soon with an incoming call from a Dallas area code, but the odds are greater it'll be a wrong number butt-dial than an offer from Jerry Jones to take over as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Meyer famously made it known just ahead of the Cowboys' battle with the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 that he'd "absolutely" take the job in Dallas if he was asked, and you can't fault his timing when considering the team was in the throes of a three-game losing streak capped by a loss to the winless New York Jets.
Jones had already made it clear at that time, however, the Cowboys had no willingness to send Garrett packing — considering they were still tied atop the NFC East with lots of football left to play — and having now performed a "blood eagle" ritual on Philadelphia in the town square for all to see, his stance has only been emboldened.
He is, however, flattered by Meyer's comments.
"For Urban Meyer to say that is a compliment, period," Jones told 105.3FM the Fan on Tuesday after initially declining to comment.
"I really know that. The job is a great job. Now, that's not implying that I made it that way or I don't make it that way. It's just a place that — the other night, for an example, we broke all records, appearances before 20 million people.
"Make no mistake about it, if you are bent that way or you have an inclination as a person, you've got to go to center stage. If you like to have to answer or have an opportunity to be at the very top, then our organization gives you that opportunity. We're all aware of that. We want to really, once you're there, you — that's inspirational.
"So, it doesn't surprise me that Urban would have that kind of opinion about the head coaching job of the Dallas Cowboys."
Meyer is no stranger to the big stage by any stretch of the imagination, but he'll have to remain in the dressing room on this one.
With that settled, at least for now, the Cowboys focus on heading into their bye week with a 4-3 record and in sole ownership of the top spot in the NFC East. Calls for Garrett's head have cooled a bit following the 37-10 message sent on Sunday Night Football, and although he's operating in a contract year, nothing is yet decided for his future. That said, however, Jones isn't shy in reminding everyone of how much the Cowboys have invested in Garrett from Day One, and that's why he's not looking for reasons to cut him loose now or later.
If anything, he's taking the polar opposite approach.
"I'm looking for reasons to keep him," Jones said this week, via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. "It's merited here. It's hard to get an effective coach and get it locked in with all you have to retool and redo. I'm comfortable.
"We have established some security. …He represents the organization well on and off the field. You don't have to wake up in the morning reading about it."
There are those who'll take issue with Jones' "comfort" with a head coach who hasn't led his team to the NFC Conference Championship or better since taking on the position full-time in 2011, and that's certainly warranted. By all accounts, this is the year that it must happen in order for Garrett to land another contract in 2020, but being able to avoid a locker room implosion the likes of which match what's occurring within the Eagles organization is a key reason Jones isn't so apt to let Garrett walk.
The three-game losing streak carried nearly a month of days that got darker with each passing minute, and the embarrassment at MetLife Stadium by a hapless Jets team could've easily caused things to unravel in grave fashion. Instead, the Garrett-led Cowboys dusted themselves off and beat the Eagles to within an inch of their football life.
That ability to lead men and keep them galvanized through hard times something to Jones.
"He's focused," he said of Garrett. "He's got thick skin. He's seasoned. He's used to that that.
"We saw him at his best out there Sunday and we saw his team really prepared and at their best. Again, we're going to look back, I always have, and we're going to have games like we did against the Jets you just wonder why when you look forward. But we'll have games like we did two days ago against Philadelphia and we'll see, hey, that's when we took a step forward or starting doing this, this team."
And for those who believe Garrett is simply a puppet on the knee of Ventriloquist Jones?
"It's important not to have a yes-man," he said. "Jason Garrett is not a yes-man. …I say that because he's not."
Praise from the club owner aside, there's still the matter of no contract being on the table yet for Garrett, but Jones stops short of explaining why that is or what it'll take for the Cowboys to finally provide him one.
"Do you need my health examination as well? Or my health record?" Jones said, jokingly. "I'm not going to talk about that, and you know I'm not. Really, I'm not."
Eventually he will, though, because he'll have to — in one way or the other.