Jerry Jones tends to be a circus ringmaster, but he’s reacting to Jason Garrett’s instant success as an interim coach in measured tones.
Jones pointed out after Sunday’s overtime win over the Colts that Garrett bears some responsibility for the 1-7 start. The owner/general manager is obviously pleased with the way the Cowboys have performed since Garrett took over for Wade Phillips, but Jones doesn’t want to contribute to creating too much hype for the coach.
That’s awfully un-Jerry-like, but it’s true.
“What I do not want to do -- and I want to be real careful -- is to try to identify or couch Jason as, he can step in here and get it done,” Jones said. “Because if we don’t get it done and times get hard, which that happens as a head coach, then all of the sudden the bloom is off the rose and everybody says he’s overrated. It’s a lot of expectations to get used to a guy coming in and winning 75 percent of his games right off the bat.”
Jones had plenty of praise for Garrett, but he wanted to make sure the interim coach doesn’t get all the credit. Jones repeatedly deflected questions about Garrett by giving props to the players.
“What you don’t need to X out of this equation is how much this team within itself has pulled its own self up,” Jones said. “This can’t be done by tricks, quotes and Knute Rockne speeches.”
Jones can’t commit to giving Garrett the job on a full-time basis due to the Rooney Rule, but it’d be stunning if somebody else is coaching the Cowboys next season. Maybe Jones just wants a little leverage in contract negotiations.