Two days after not-commenting-while-commenting on the reported interest of outgoing Browns president Mike Holmgren in the not-currently-vacant head coaching job in Dallas, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has commented on his commitment to the guy who currently holds the cards.
And, as usual, there’s more than meets the eye.
Asked during a Tuesday radio appearance regarding the Holmgren situation, Jones said (via Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com): “I won’t and can’t get into that kind of conversation because of how fired up I am about the future of Jason. The future is now, but also I am fired up about him and what he can be coaching the Dallas Cowboys. Mike Holmgren . . . I can’t tell you on a individual basis how much I respect him. He’s everything you would want as far as a coach is concerned and I appreciate, it was a compliment, when he was talking about how he was impressed with our talent and the fact that we could work together. And that’s just the case. But make no mistake about it. And Mike doesn’t need me to say what a great guy he is. Our fans probably need to hear he’s a great guy. Bottom line, it’s all about Jason with me.”
Yes, it’s all about Jason. Until it isn’t.
As explained during Tuesday’s PFT Live, Jones is wise to unequivocally support his coach and his players under circumstances where support could help the team achieve its goals. But Jones has said enough to make it clear that, if he should decide to make a change, Holmgren would be a candidate.
By saying “our fans probably need to hear he’s a great guy,” Jones may be laying the foundation for the sales pitch that he may eventually have to make.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Jones’ comments is that he seems to suggest Holmgren has actually spoken about the Cowboys job. Since Holmgren hasn’t done so publicly, Jones could be referring to a private conversation with Holmgen when he says “it was a compliment, when [Holmgren] was talking about how he was impressed with our talent and the fact that we could work together.”
A decade ago, Jones lined up Bill Parcells for a job that was held at the time by Dave Campo. It could be that, while Jones is wisely supporting Garrett, the owner quietly is exploring his options and doing his due diligence regarding Plan B, if he decides that the latest iteration of Plan A is no longer working.