Jerry Jones Is Talking, No CBA Opens Possibilities To Employed Coaches?

The hottest topic of conversation flying around the Dallas Cowboys Webosphere has been Jerry Jones opening the conversation up about whom the next coach of the team will be. For a recap of the pre-game interview Mr. Jones gave to the NFL Network, go here to topic number four. It seems that with one game left in the season, the 3rd-string quarterback possibly lining up behind center and the approaching Super Bowl, Jerry is ready to go full steam ahead with his media blitz.

Everyone is used to having to wade through the double talk to try and dissect what Jerry Jones says. In fact, right after the NFLN interview, Steve Mariucci and Deion Sanders had completely different takes on Jones' statement. Mooch thought that Jerry gave a ringing endorsement for Jason Garrett, while Deion was adamant that Jerry was indicating he is going to get a former SuperBowl winner. It's likely we won't know for sure until there is a proclamation made.

Jones held court yesterday afternoon for close to 15 minutes. As expected, everyone that scribbled down his responses inferred different things. For the full presser, go to the Mothership here.  Jones appeared soothed when compared to when we last saw him publicly. I chose the word appeared because it is quite possible that Jones was doing spin control to mitigate the potential public  perception snaffu that were his last two national TV interviews. Separated from the loss to the Cardinals by two days, Jones would later use the term 'neutral' in describing the impact of the loss on his evaluation of Garrett. He explained that in spite of the injury to Kitna, the comeback to secure the lead spoke well to Garrett's in game coaching.

One of the most interesting tidbits I caught was when Jerry was answering a question about whether or not the impending dissolve of the Collective Bargaining Agreement affected his coaching search. Is Jerry able to reach out to coaches under contract with other teams?

 

I'm really not sure, with circumstances we are dealing with, what our different date requirements are. As to, we still got one issue, we're still operating under the old CBA up until a certain period of time, and there are issues and deadlines that are in place under the CBA as to when you CANT talk , when that's over, and when you cant talk to someone with a job. There are time frames there. To some degree that impacts some people, but that doesn't affect others.

...

There are areas regarding time frames, that change completely. There are things that are involved in the CBA that go away if you don't have a deal by March 4th, relative to coaching.

This past offseason had everyone abuzz over the possibility of certain owners splurging on free agents. The theory was that with an uncapped year, the heavy hitters would load up on expensive talent and take advantage of their first season in 17 without a cap. That proved to not be the case, as owners chose instead to use the space to reconcile their own in house talent and bookkeeping. So I went to do some research. What exactly happens in the coaching environment when the CBA expires?

It was difficult to find any information. I checked the NFL-NFLPA CBA here on Dolfanjill.com, the NFL Anti-Tampering Policy here on dawgtalkers.net, but nothing could readily be found to determine what could be changing. The mere mention leads one to believe that without a CBA, the rules are at least going to become slightly more flexible when it comes to speaking to head coaches of other teams. You already can talk to assistants sans permission in the offseason, so where else could this be going? Whom might Jerry be targeting?

Jerry also revealed that he has a list of coaching candidates, and has been using the time since firing Wade Phillips to perform extensive background checking on those candidates.

I’ve had a list and keep a list of perspective coaches as it would relate to their lineage, where they’ve had their experience, what they not only have done if they were college coaches or what they have done if they’ve been assistant coaches around the NFL or what they’ve done as head coaches. I think I mentioned to some of you that for instance there’s never been a coach win the Super Bowl and go someplace else and win it. Never been one, and that's long odds.
...
The other odds are that there's a lot to be said, and I'm a big believer, having never done something and then getting the opportunity to do it. Of course, that sets that up right there, to be the first coach to ever win it someplace else... But I'm a big believer that that initial proving it out [winning a first championship] is a big motivator.

Argh! Everything was leaning towards a retread hire until that last sentiment! This circles right back around to the NFLN interview. Jerry remains evasive and vague as to whether those long odds indicate a 'Do Not Proceed' or a challenge to his ability to be Mr. First. As anyone that has tried to diagnose Jerry talk when it relates to coaching, think back to the airport meetings with Bill Parcells. Think back to the reported drunken declaration that anyone could coach Jimmy Johnson's Cowboys. Can you really gleam the truth about a product from a salesman until you have the goods in your possession?

And if you had any question on whether or not Jerry is always is sales mode, Jerry was asked if the time-frame would lend to an announcement during Super Bowl week.

Reporter: So you can still make a big splash at the Super Bowl?

Jerry: Well I don't want to overshadow THIS Super Bowl (group laughter).

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