Mike Holmgren’s tenure with the Browns doesn’t officially come to an end until the year is out, so he was in Dallas with the team on Sunday.
After a week filled with talk about Holmgren’s interest in coaching the Cowboys and Jerry Jones’ appreciation of Holmgren’s reported interest in the team, Holmgren’s presence obviously drew some attention. Of particular interest was whether Holmgren’s conversation with the Cowboys owner before the game had any relationship to the chatter. After the game, Jones said that it wasn’t anything other than two guys who have known each other a long time chewing the fat.
“Well, we had the visit that we always have when he comes, when I come to where he is. We’re good friends. We served for about seven or eight years on the Competition Committee together,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “We visited about all the things that we normal visit about. He’s a really, apart from being an outstanding coach, he’s a heck of a man. He’s got a lot of character and I can’t tell you how much I respect him. When you’re close like that and spend a lot of time with somebody, familiarity can breed contempt. It’s just the opposite with him. Every time I’ve been around him he’s gone up.”
Jones’ flattering words about Holmgren won’t do much to quell attempts to link Holmgren to the Cowboys coaching job. That talk is going to exist whether Holmgren and Jones go on a road trip to Graceland or never speak to one another, though. The only way discussions about a new coach are going to fade away is if Jason Garrett is able to steer the Cowboys into the playoffs over the final six weeks of the season.
Not getting there may not guarantee him a spot on the unemployment line, but it will guarantee that speculation about a coaching change will, like Jones’ feelings for Holmgren, keep going up.