Since purchasing the Dallas Cowboys 25 years ago, Jerry Jones has never been accused of being shy in the presence of a microphone and that is not likely to change anytime soon. Recently, the Cowboy-in Chief took to the air waves once again courtesy of KRLD-FM 105.3 "The Fan" on the Ben and Skin Show. Among the topics of conversation was the state of head coach Jason Garrett’s future in Dallas and how the coach is expected to perform during the final year of his contract. It was a question that Jones met head on in a round-about way.
"Some people, unless they know for sure what the check is going to be at the end of the week — they may be brilliant and they may be talented but — they don’t function as well because they need to know what it’s going to be."
"I’m not talking about the amount of the check; they just need to know that it’s going to be there. And they are a lot better at what they do. Others, though, by not knowing, the Mississippi riverboat gambler would be the epitome of that, he doesn’t know if he’s going to win the hand when the card turns up or get thrown overboard. He’s at his charming best, he operates the very best."- Jerry Jones
As always, Jerry-speak is open to interpretation, but what the Cowboys owner appears to be saying is that he feels that Jason Garrett does his best work when he is not totally certain what lies ahead. To me, the line that is most revealing is when Jerry says, "he doesn’t know if he’s going to win the hand when the card turns up or get thrown overboard." That statement seems to be the first notification from the Jones family that Jason Garrett really is coaching for his job this season. The options seem to be clear; win the hand or get tossed overboard.
In the way that only Jerry Jones can, in spite of the statement implying that this was a make-or-break season for Garrett, Jones still expressed full confidence in the man he has spent years grooming to be the head coach. In addition to implying that Garrett does his best work under pressure, Jerry addressed what makes the coach most efficient under those circumstances.
"Jason Garrett has a very high tolerance for ambiguity. It’s a great quality. He’s very disciplined as well. He’s very organized as well. Tremendously smart. But he’s unique in that with all of that, he can basically play option quarterback and string it out until the last move is made and then make his decision. That’s a good quality."
At least to my mind, what Jerry seems to be saying is that he is confident in his coach’s ability to perform under "normal" circumstances, but that he feels that what sets Garrett apart from other coaches is that he feels like his man is unique in his ability to pull through in the face of the unknown. He believes that when all is said and done Garrett will vindicate the faith that his boss has shown in him. Of course, that has yet to be proven.
Along with the rest of us, Jerry Jones would love to see Jason Garrett start a run of success that begins in the 2014 season and ultimately ends with multiple trophies being added to the trophy case during his tenure. While this may or may not become reality, at least the owner’s views have been made clear in a cryptic manner. All that is left to do is to see how things play out this fall. I doubt that any of us, from the Garrett fans to the Garrett haters, would complain if Jerry’s faith is rewarded with success.
In the end, Al Davis was right: "Just win, Baby!"