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Troy Aikman 'dumbfounded' by Jerry Jones' comments; Jason Garrett won't bite

FRISCO, Texas -- Jerry Jones has spoken almost wistfully at times about seeing Tony Romo play this season and help the Dallas Cowboys win games if Dak Prescott falters.

This week was no exception.

Jones called a quarterback debate by those outside the organization a “legitimate discussion,” and while he did not want to mention the ways Prescott could lose his job -- poor play or injury -- he did not do the rookie quarterback any favors.

"I don't have a definition for it, but you'll know it when you see it," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. "It's kind of like a definition I heard one time of another issue trying to define a negative topic, and they said, 'I don't know how to say it, but it's just something that when you see it, you'll know it's there.' We'll see it."

Count Cowboys’ Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman among those wondering why Jones continues to say things like that.

"I'm just really dumbfounded by the comments, and not only the first time, but why they continue," Aikman said Thursday on KTCK 1310 AM The Ticket in Dallas. "I don't understand why you would talk."

Aikman added, “I'm not sure that Tony, if it was left up to the owner, wouldn't be the starter now, just based on the comments that I've heard in the last couple weeks."

It all leaves coach Jason Garrett in the middle of a debate that he does not want to have. Since taking over midway through the 2010 season, Garrett has adeptly handled questions about things Jones has said regarding the team, whereas his predecessor, Wade Phillips, would joke, “Well, whatever Jerry says.”

Garrett was asked four separate questions Thursday about Jones’ comments, ranging from dealing with the fallout of what the owner says to if he talks to Prescott about what is being said.

“We talk about the importance of being focused with our team right from the start,” Garrett said. “And we talk about it at [the] start of the season and certainly every week to get your mindset, your mentality right. It’s an important word for everybody, coaches and players alike. So that’s not new this year. That’s not new this week. It’s really an important thing to be your best, to focus on the right things and we try to do that each and every day.”

It’s one thing for the media or fans to bring up discussions; it’s another for the owner and general manager of the team.

“We all have a job to do and the best way to do your job is to focus on what you need to do each and every day to prepare to do your job as well as you can do it,” Garrett said. “It’s a big theme for our football team and the guys understand the importance of it.”

More than most, Aikman understands the Cowboys’ dynamic from his time with the team, but even he scratches his head over some of Jones’ comments.

"If Tony ends up getting in the game at some point, great," Aikman said on The Ticket. “But to dismiss what a young rookie quarterback has done. ... [Do you] know what would be a great story? [It] would be if a rookie quarterback takes this team to a Super Bowl championship. That'd be a great story. Whether Romo is a part of that ultimately and gets on the field and plays, if he does that'd be great. I mean he's put a lot of time in this city and he's meant a lot to the organization, but if he doesn't and they do it a different way, then that's great, too.

“The bottom line is winning games, so I just don't understand it."