Jerry praises Parcells -- on the record

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made his first public comments since someone surreptitiously shot video of him making somewhat disparaging remarks about former Dallas coach Bill Parcells. Jones said his comments, which were made in a restaurant near downtown Dallas, were taken out of context and that he remains friends with Parcells. He confirmed an Ed Werder report Thursday that he called the former Cowboys coach to explain his comments.

In the grainy video, Jones can be heard saying Parcells "isn't worth an [expletive]. But in the same context, Jones also said of Parcells, "I love him."

"Bill, first of all, is a real friend of mine," Jones said Thursday evening at an American Diabetes Association fundraiser in Grand Prairie, Texas. "He is a great football coach. He probably has as good or better people skills than anybody I ever met. I have complete trust in him.

"The actual way I express myself is commonly known by my associates as a familiar, caring term of endearment, as you will. If I say to somebody that you're not worth a flip, then that means I think you're pretty good, certainly if I follow up with, I love you."

Having been involved in lengthy conversations with Jones in social situations, I can attest that he often uses those "endearing" phrases. And that's why Parcells discounted the comments when contacted by the Bergen (N.J.) Record on Wednesday. Regarding his comment on the secret video that Parcells was hired to drum up support for a new stadium, Jones didn't exactly issue a retraction.

"Our franchise needed Bill," said Jones. "That's why I made the decision. The kinds of things that Bill could bring to the franchise, create a positive feeling about the franchise, and that stadium is certainly one of them. To basically say a Hall of Fame coach, a coach that has his charisma and his personality, would accomplish franchise goals is correct."

Jones also told ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon that he'd learned an important lesson when it comes to socializing with strangers.

"I certainly don't and wouldn't use four-letter words in anything that would be involved in the media or for people of all ages to hear," said Jones. "The other thing that I would be careful about is any wit or attempt at wit or humor or attempt at humor. But that's just not what you're thinking about when you're having a social moment."

Please keep that in mind if you plan on having any "social moments" this weekend.