A week ago, owner/GM Jerry Jones expressed his frustration in the Cowboys' early playoff exit. And with that, he refused to discuss his coaching staff, which at least gave off the perception that changes could be on the way for the coaching staff.
This Friday, Jones did an impromptu interview on 105.3 "The Fan" and tried to clear the air on a few topics regarding McCarthy, Dan Quinn and the rest of the staff. Here are some highlights that came out of Jerry's interview Friday morning.
- McCarthy's Status – Jerry Jones made it clear he never intended on changing head coaches this year, despite not giving McCarthy his full support when asked last week. He said that not discussing the coaching staff was more about the competitive nature of trying to keep the staff intact. "It was never an issue with me, with Mike being the head coach. You never heard that from me."
- Early Victory – The Cowboys didn't get a playoff win this season but Jerry Jones sounded rather confident that the organization got a "huge victory" in keeping Dan Quinn as the defensive coordinator. Stressing continuity and the ability to keep a "player's coach," Jones raved about the opportunity the Cowboys have to get better on defense. Jones didn't get into specifics but it sounds as if there was a significant financial increase in Quinn's contract, which likely was extended with multiple years.
- Kellen Returns? – When asked about the status of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who has interviewed for head coaching jobs, including now twice with the Dolphins, Jones said he senses that Moore will ultimately return to the Cowboys once again as the OC. "I do believe he'll be back next year. " When asked again if that's his preference, Jones emphatically said "yes."
- Payton Stories – There has been obviously speculation lately on Sean Payton, who just recently stepped away from his head coaching duties with the Saints after 15 seasons. Payton was a former offensive assistant in Dallas and there have been rumors over the years about a potential return to the Cowboys. On Friday, Jones was careful in his answers about Payton but gave him plenty of praise. "Sean is an easy and really pleasant to be around. He does things that really help ball teams and help motivate players. He's got 'it.'" Jones then shared a story of Payton's Saints beating the Cowboys back in 2006 and reportedly they were having so much fun on the team charter back to New Orleans, that they decided to fly up near Denver and then back home so they can extend the party. "That kind of natural instinctive, I call leadership or spontaneous, or type approach to life, is a real asset to him."
- Casting a Shadow – With Payton out there this year, it begs the question if coaches around the league might be looking over their shoulder in 2022 with added pressure. Jones didn't think so. "Not at all. I think a lot of Sean. But there's gonna be somebody other than Sean winning the Super Bowl this year…There's no one person indispensable as far as winning the Super Bowl."