The Jerry Jones Show: Jason Garrett’s future; Stance on coordinators | 16:17
Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones speaks with 105.3 The Fan for his final weekly show and talks about the decision to stick with Jason Garrett, and what the status is on the coordinators (Bill Callahan and Monte Kiffin) for both sides of the ball. (Watch Video | Listen Audio)
RELATED: Jerry Jones reaffirms his faith in Jason Garrett; Focusing on players
IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones left no doubts about the future of head coach Jason Garrett today.
Jones reaffirmed on 105.3 FM “The Fan” that he had made his decision to retain Garrett and that it wasn’t a decision he made recently. He said he decided that several weeks ago and that he likes what Garrett’s doing as a coach.
“One thing that’s a positive here is we’ve been in it,” Jones said. “We’ve been in it the last three years. Jason’s been on this staff going on seven years now. But we have been in it, during his time as head coach, we have been in it, right there playing for it, in the last game for the last three years.”
Jones said there’s a positive to competing and being in the mix in the division in the final week every year, but he also said he’s right there with fans wanting more than 8-8 and not having to play for a division title in the last game every year.
“That’s where we can have improvement,” he said.
With the news that Garrett would return, the attention now focuses on the future of the other coaches and coordinators. Jones said in this business, players and coaches can lose their jobs if they don’t get the job done with or without a contract, but he wouldn’t get into the specifics of many of the coaches’ contracts.
Jones said he was pleased he had defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan this year. That’s despite the Cowboys finishing last in the league in total defense and questions popping up throughout the year regarding the offensive play-calling.
The owner didn’t specifically state that those coordinators will stay next year, but he said to assume the coaching staff’s contract statuses will remain intact until they decide differently. He said those coordinators mentioned previously are still under contract.
“When we got them, I’ve never had as many people talk about, ‘Well, boy, you have really upgraded or, not upgraded would be the word, but you have really added a plus to the coaching staff,’” Jones said. “Now we had a rough year, but we didn’t necessarily have a rough year because of coaching, in terms of our defense. All that will be considered as we look forward.”
He also said the Cowboys won’t have the changes in the coaching staff area that they had last year. As far as what decisions will be made, Jones said he will look at that with Garrett going forward, but they haven’t discussed that in depth yet.
“We’ve made some philosophical changes this year with (Tony) Romo and his influence that he has in the offense,” Jones said. “We’ve made some changes regarding the philosophy of the defense. We need to practice that, we need to improve that, to the extent we can add personnel, which we certainly can through the draft.”
Most of Jones’ focus now seems to be on personnel rather than coaching. He said he’s had recent years where he thought the talent on the field was greater than it was this year, specifically because of the injuries the team sustained, but he also thought the team should have had more success with Romo on the field for 15 of 16 games.
“But when I look at the challenges that we had, frankly, and the numbers of players we had to bring on the roster and get on the field in a relatively short amount of time that for the most time weren’t a part of rosters or maybe aren’t going to be a part of rosters this year, I think we did a pretty good job getting the team out there under the circumstances,” Jones said. “Having said that, one of the things you look at is your depth.”
Jerry Jones said he would have preferred to have had his team playing during the bye week. But the Dallas Cowboys owner enjoyed a weekend away nonetheless.
Jones went on a family outing to their vacation home in Missouri. He deer hunted and then watched football on Sunday afternoon.
“The afternoon is a good time to take a break from hunting,” Jones said on his weekly radio show on 105.3 FM. “It was a great time to watch the games. We spent quite a bit of time with a lot of people watching the games. The different games. So that was very enjoyable, more to the point than anything. It does give you a chance to have a Sunday probably the way a life would have been without the Cowboys.”
The Cowboys, though, didn’t have a good off weekend. The Eagles beat the Redskins to move a half game ahead of the Cowboys in the NFC East, and the Giants won their fourth in a row to set up a big division showdown at The Meadowlands on Sunday.
“I always kind of miss playing,” Jones said. “I know the players don’t. I really know the coaches don’t as well. They appreciate this week off. But from the standpoint of watching our team …of where we stand ranking in the division, you kind of feel like you lost one when you look up at the division, and all of a sudden, you’re a game back of where you were when the weekend started and didn’t play to get that done. But we needed that rest.”
THE GOOD-BYE BLOWOUT: Despite Saints loss, Jerry Jones wants team focused on playoff run and a good bye week
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted today on his radio show that he still hasn’t recovered from last Sunday’s 49-17 blowout loss to the Saints.
“That was a rough one in New Orleans,” Jones said with a sigh as he opened his radio show on KRLD-FM. “We have not (recovered). That was one that should and will hang with us a little while. Unlike those one- or two-point losses, it’s one that should get your attention.”
Jones has his eyes wide open but also doesn’t think the Saints game is truly representative of the Dallas Cowboys this year.
He said the Cowboys were severely impacted in that game by the injuries on defense and feels they will play better when some of the players return.
He also said the offense is much better than it showed against the Saints when quarterback Tony Romo passed for just 128 yards and the Cowboys were 0-for-9 on third downs.
“What is representative of our team is some of the early games we had than this past Sunday,” Jones said.
The Cowboys’ owner acknowledges, however, that work must be done during this week’s bye if he hopes for a happy ending to the 2013 season.
He said coach Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator Bill Callahan and Romo are hard at work evaluating and making adjustments to improve the slumping offense, namely fixing their problems on third down and finding ways to get receiver Dez Bryant and tight Jason Witten the ball and away from double teams.
“I don’t think we are far away, an adjustment here and an adjustment there,” Jones said. “I think they are making adjustments that are called for.”
Jones acknowledges the defense will still be challenged because the loss of middle linebacker Sean Lee for next two or three games and the offense must pick up the slack to “keep the defense off the field. It needs some help.”
Jones said he will spend the bye week watching football, particularly the NFC East games. He will play close attention to the battle between the Redskins (3-6) and Eagles (5-5), who are tied with the Dallas Cowboys atop thee division. The Giants (3-6) also have a winnable game against Packers, who playing without their quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and could be one game back when the Cowboys face them Nov. 24 following the bye.
And as much as he’s disappointed in the team’s play against Saints, he said the season-long goals are still out there for the Cowboys to achieve: win the division, make the playoffs and go from there.
“We got six more games,” Jones said. “It’s before us if we want to take it. That’s the way we should look at it. It would be wrong to look at the past weekend and count it out and say, ‘That’s the way we are’.”
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Jerry Jones didn’t sound like a general manager ready to get rid of his head coach when he spoke Tuesday on his weekly radio show.
While talking about the Cowboys struggling under Jason Garrett, who is in his second full season as head coach, Jones mentioned firing a previous coach too soon, a mistake he doesn’t want to make again.
But the highlight of his answer came when discussing how Super Bowl-winning coaches like Bill Belichick and Tom Landry didn’t have success early in their careers.
“I think you got to look at his short tenure as our coach as well as potential for the future,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “Now, that’s a combination that’s worth looking at real good. Because, yes, I made a coaching change with a coach in here that had only been here two years — Chan Gailey. I regretted it. That was not the thing to do at the time. A lot of people would take issue with the statement I just made, but it’s probably one of just a few things regarding the coaching thing that I would take back. That was a pretty quick tenure for him. Fair is not the word, but I don’t know that it was fair to our team and our fans.
“Having said all that, you need to look at how short of a time that Jason’s been here. You need to look at the potential that he has. You need to look at a coach like Bill Belichick, that went up to Cleveland and was fired, and then turned around and was looking, trying to get a job and then ends up working his way back and ends up in New England later on. The books are full of coaches that initially started slower and ended up doing outstanding jobs. … Specifically, I do know of coaches that had they not stuck with them, Coach Landry, we don’t have to remind ourselves of his early years as a young coach.”
That certainly sounds like an owner/general manager that’s content with his current head coach.
Later in the interview, Jones addressed the speculation about the possibility of the Cowboys going after Sean Payton at the end of the season. Jones said he is not allowed to have any communication with the New Orleans Saints coach who is suspended for the season because of his alleged involvement in the Saints’ bounty scandal.
“I have no idea what they’re talking about, and I have no understanding about anything to do with his business or the Saints’ business,” Jones said. “All of that was news to me. I saw it just like you did, on television.”
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RELATED: Jerry Jones – Cowboys FB Lawrence Vickers
The offensive line will shoulder the majority of the blame when a team is struggling to run the football, but the fullback also deserves some of the responsibility.
After signing Lawrence Vickers in the off-season, Jerry Jones said the Cowboys “can be the best we’ve been at fullback since Daryl [Johnston].”
With the Cowboys averaging only 3.4 yards per carry, which ranks 28th in the league, it’s hard to believe Jones would compare Vickers to Moose Johnston.
But Jones says he’s optimistic that Vickers’ best days as a Cowboy are still ahead of him.
“What I look for in a fullback, and he’s got it, is the ability to instinctively pick up a guy that maybe isn’t his guy, that just shows up,” Jones explained this morning on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “When you play his spot, especially in the running game, I guess you could say this about the passing game too, your assigned guy is not always the one that’s the freest. And I emphasize that ‘est’ because it’s the guy that’s coming first that he has to pick up. He’s got good instincts there. I think we can look forward to that. That hasn’t diminished in any way.
“I look for him to play better. I’m still as excited about him as I’ve been. I’m crazy about his work ethic. He works, brings that enthusiasm for the team but also backs it up with work. I think we’ll see better play than what we think we’ve seen so far this year.”
RELATED: Jerry Jones – Felix Jones as kick returner
The Dallas Cowboys added undrafted rookie free agent Lance Dunbar to their 53-man roster on Monday to help on special teams.
Dunbar said after Monday’s practice that he would be participating in all phases of special teams, but it seems the former North Texas standout running back would be best used as a kickoff returner. The Cowboys haven’t had any success in their kick return game and the youngster could provide a spark.
But the team’s current kick returner, former first-round pick Felix Jones, hasn’t lost the job yet, according to Jerry Jones.
“I still think that Felix has the ability to do what we want to do, which is make some plays,” the Cowboys owner and general manager said today on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “He’s showing more burst the last couple of weeks, so I don’t want to dismiss him.”
Jerry Jones said he didn’t know if Dunbar would get a chance to return kicks Sunday in Baltimore because the coaching staff still wanted to see how comfortable he looked back there throughout the week of practice.
“You worry a little about his size, but he sure could help us,” Jerry Jones said of Dunbar. “He’s instinctive, and I think that’s the key word for him. He just finds a way, finds holes and has some burst when he sees it, to find the soft spot. If he can add that to our kicking game, then we’ve stepped it up.”
RELATED: Jerry Jones – Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff
With Jay Ratliff limited during training camp with a foot injury, Jerry Jones wondered if his Pro Bowl nose tackle got enough practice time before seeing his first action in the Cowboys’ third preseason game.
Ratliff suffered a high ankle sprain in that game and left the locker room on crutches.
“Did we let him get back in enough practice to get used to the speed of the game and were there things we could’ve done that might’ve prevented him from having that high ankle sprain,” Jones questioned today during an interview on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “Of course, [Ratliff] was the expert on the matter as it would be. He said there was no way in the world that I could’ve prepared for the guy falling over on the back of my leg like that, creating an ankle sprain.”
Ratliff returned to practice on Monday and it’s likely he’ll make his season debut Sunday in Baltimore. His return would bring an immediate impact considering opponents often double team the four-time Pro Bowler.
If Ratliff is out there, Jones doesn’t anticipate the 31-year-old slowly easing himself back into the mix.
“It’s not we’re going to turn him loose, he’s going to turn loose,” Jones said. “He doesn’t know but one speed, and that is getting after it. We’ve missed him and he’ll help us.”
RELATED: Jerry Jones – At 2-2, we’re in pretty good shape, considering
With how poorly the Dallas Cowboys played in losses to the Seahawks and Bears and even during a win over the Buccaneers, a 2-2 record might be better than what they deserve.
Today, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones gave his thoughts on where his team sits entering Week 6. Despite being outscored by a 61-25 total in their two losses, the Cowboys are fortunate that each team in the NFC East has at least two losses.
“We got to play better,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “I’m disappointed that we’re not putting more points on the board. I’m disappointed that we’re not getting the turnovers. All of that tells me that at 2-2, we’re in pretty good shape, considering the way we’ve played. I’m not saying we’re lucky to be 2-2, but we haven’t played any better than 2-2. We can play better though. That’s the good news.
“You look at where we are with our division, where everybody has lost two games in the division. What does that tell you? Nothing, other than we’ve got the games ahead of us – one more against the Giants and two against each of our division opponents. You got to look at your division hard and keep an eye on it. We have a lot to be encouraged about where we are in our division relative to records and nobody’s gaining on us here.
“We’ve got to do this from within. We just got to play better from within, across the board. It isn’t in just one spot, it’s across the board. I emphasize the interior blocking of the offensive line, but we got so many other areas that we can play better in. But that’s football.”
COMPROMISING POSITION: Jerry Jones laughs about glasses cleaned, says he wouldn’t sit by him at a game
Jerry Jones is laughing about it now, and he’s glad he can – the moment the NBC cameras caught his son-in-law, Shy Anderson, cleaning his glasses for him.
“Had you told me last week that we’re going to be able to laugh and smile about this and it be something fun and notable to talk about, I would have taken that in a minute,” Jones said happily on his Friday morning radio show. “I was about to die up there. About to swallow my tongue.”
Jones said his glasses were just dirty, and that Anderson – the husband of Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson – offered to clean them.
“Listen, those things were fogged over, dirty, they had all kinds of prints on them,” Jones said, still chuckling. “He just reached down there and said, ‘Hand me those. You need some help.’ ”
But then, anything done near the Cowboys owner during a game is likely to wind up on TV, also.
Jones said with a laugh, “One of the things that I would do if I were another human on this planet is not sit near me at a ballgame because you could get compromised by what really is happening.
“And, of course, that was Shy Anderson, my son-in-law, he’s a vital part of our organization. trying to just help his father-in-law where he could see the ballgame. He reached down and said those things need cleaning. He’s paying the price on it.”
Jones laughed again, heartily.
“We’ll figure it out,” he said. “I heard that somebody might need to be shining my shoes up there. Somebody else serving me hors d’oeuvres in between the huddle.”
Jones said Anderson is enjoying the attention.
“We’re having fun with it, too,” he said. “And one of the great things about him, he does have a big-time sense of humor. We’re having more fun about how ridiculous it is. But it’s fun. Let’s keep it going.”
RELATED: AUDIO – Listen to The Jerry Jones Show
Editor’s Comment: This portion of The Jerry Jones Show comes in the last few minutes. Enjoy!