Reporting Mike Fisher
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PHILADELPHIA (105.3 THE FAN) – The best explanation for why Jerry Jones would attempt to sidestep last weekend’s rumors about Sean Payton as a future Cowboys coach but then this weekend talk fairly openly about rumors about Mike Holmgren as a future Cowboys coach has nothing to do with Payton, with Holmgren, or with sitting Dallas coach Jason Garrett.
It has everything to do with Jerry being Jerry.
“Of course, Mike Holmgren is a heck of a coach,” Jones said on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan before Sunday’s Cowboys-at-Eagles kickoff. “But the facts are that Jason Garrett gives us an outstanding chance to be what we want to be. So, there you have it. I wouldn’t comment one way or the other there with Mike.”
Of course, he just did comment one way or the other regarding Holmgren, with whom Jones became friendly years ago when the Super Bowl-winning coach (then with the Packers) served with Jones on the NFL’s powerful Competition Committee. And Jones said more, explaining that when he heard about the CBSSports report about Holmgren harboring “serious interest’’ in Dallas if there should be a vacancy, he visited with Cowboys play-by-play voice Brad Sham of The Fan to catch up on the news.
“I was interested in why he said he would like to be the coach,” Jones said. “And that was good. We are good friends, have a lot of respect for each other, served on the Competition Committee together for eight years. He’s very familiar with how we operate the Cowboys, and does have a high appreciation for our talent that we have on the team right now. All of that is a compliment. Thank you, Mike.”
As noted in this space last week, Holmgren – not successfu in his executive position with the Cleveland Browns – is among Jones’ confidants, a friendly advisor as Jerry runs his team as the owner, president and GM.
Jones also has a relationship with suspended Saints coach Payton. And with hundreds of other football names, some more headline-grabbing than others. If a football person wants a job, or wants a raise, strategically, he might leak info about being interested in Dallas. Meanwhile, if a reporter wants attention, he might make certain to release inside info under the spotlight of an NFL Sunday … and to raise the profile of the story by including the lightning-rod Cowboys in the first paragraph.
It is not Jerry Jones’ plan to fire Garrett, though Dallas’ 3-5 start has placed the young coach the middle of these sort of stories.
“We need to win a game,’’ Jones said earlier this week. “I looked for an uptick when Jason took over (in the middle of the 2010 season). I look for that now. The arrow is going up.’’
So why is Jerry Jones willing to let himself be drawn into conversations like this? Because which ever way the arrow is pointing, Jones likes to make certain the TV cameras are pointed at him and his Cowboys.
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