Jerry Jones is “looking for reasons” to keep Jason Garrett

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The Cowboys front office repeatedly expressed public support for Jason Garrett last week in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Both Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones said Garrett’s job was not on the line in Sunday’s game against the Eagles.

They weren’t lying.

The Cowboys owner, in fact, said he wants to keep Garrett beyond this season after Garrett’s contract expires.

“I am looking for reasons. I’m looking for reasons to keep him,” Jones said. “It’s merited here. It’s hard to get an effective coach and get it locked in with all you have to retool and redo. I’m comfortable. We have established some security apart from the won-loss. He represents the organization well on and off the field. You don’t have to wake up in the morning reading about it.”

Jones said no one in the organization and not even his wife, Gene, tried to change his mind after the Cowboys lost back-to-back-to-back games to the Saints, Packers and Jets.

“No. No. No,” Jones said. “I’m not pushing back. No one, including me.”

The Cowboys responded with a 37-10 victory over the Eagles on Sunday night. They are back in sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a 4-3 record, including 3-0 within the division.

Jones has fired only one coach midseason, and that was Wade Phillips when the Cowboys quit on him during a blowout loss to the Packers in 2010. Since he replaced Phillips as interim head coach after a 1-7 start in 2010, Garrett’s players always have played hard for him.

“Head coach, right there beside him the offensive coordinator, the play caller, they’re going to get a lot of shots from time to time because we all know it doesn’t go right at all [all the time] so get ready,” Jones said. “But I’ve seen him, and I’ve seen him handle it, but I’ve not seen a concern, and I’ve experienced it to where players, key players, have an issue with the coach. I haven’t seen that with Garrett.”

Jones said last week that Garrett “would be a very sought after coach if he were out here in the open market.” If that’s the case, Jones was asked Sunday night, then why not extend his contract now?

“Do you need my health examination as well? Or my health record?” Jones said. “I’m not going to talk about that, and you know I’m not. Really, I’m not.”

Jones also wouldn’t talk about Urban Meyer’s comment that the former Ohio State coach “absolutely” would take the Cowboys job if it were offered. Jones, though, did acknowledge he had seen the Meyer’s quote.

For now, the job is Garrett’s. The rest of the season will decide whether he will keep it beyond this season.

Garrett is 81-62 in the regular season in his career, but he has only two playoff victories in three posteseason trips and has never advanced beyond the division round.