Jerry Jones won't fire coach midseason

MINNEAPOLIS -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted that his team's 1-4 start has drained his optimism, but he declared that Wade Phillips would remain the head coach for at least the rest of the season.

Jones addressed Phillips' job status without prompting in the Cowboys' locker room after Sunday's penalty-plagued 24-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. He reminded reporters that he had never fired a coach in midseason and said that Phillips would not be the first.

"I would never consider doing that during the season," Jones said.

However, Jones did not give Phillips a vote of confidence. He acknowledged that the Cowboys are in serious trouble due in large part to a glaring lack of discipline.

"I'm not [optimistic]," Jones said. "I'm very disappointed. I realize the challenge that we've got, and we're not playing well enough to get it done right now. We're running out of the opportunity to make this season what we meant it to be."

The Cowboys were penalized 11 times for 91 yards against the Vikings, including calls that negated a 68-yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin and a 34-yard punt return by Dez Bryant. It was the third game this season -- and second week in a row -- that the Cowboys have been flagged at least 11 times.

"Obviously, it's coaching," Phillips said. "We're going to keep working on it until we get it right."

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his mailbag.