Jerry Jones still thinking Cowboys Super Bowl
FEB 24, 2014 1:16a ET
Despite three straight 8-8 seasons, a defense that was historically bad in 2013 and crushing salary cap concerns, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones still says his team could play in the Super Bowl next season.
"Even though we have cap problems this year, we have that chance to compete for a Super Bowl," Jones told The Dallas Morning News during a wide-ranging interview Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
The Cowboys are $20 million dollars over the cap, according to projections, and must get under it by March 11. And that's with the cap extended to more than $130 million for 2014, up from $123 million.
It's not unusual for Jones, the master salesman and dealmaker, to be optimistic about his team's chances.
But two days from the 25th anniversary of his purchase of the team, it was strange to hear Jones say he regretted the way he handled the firing of iconic coach Tom Landry.
When Jones purchased the team from H.R. Bum Bright in 1989, it was with the understanding that his former Arkansas teammate, Jimmy Johnson, would be installed as the new head coach.
Jones personally fired Landry immediately after buying the team, a decision he says was probably too hasty on his part.
"Probably if I had it to do over again, really, I would have waited a year and just got my feet on the ground a little bit more and probably just gone with the staff that we had and then later made the ultimate change that I made," Jones said.
What a different circumstance that would have been if Landry had coached one year under Jones. Would Landry have put up with Jones' hands-on ownership? Would Johnson have been available a year later?
As for Jones' handling of coaches in the present day, Jones said head coach Jason Garrett was the offensive coordinator last season, even though Bill Callahan held the title and was supposed to be the playcaller.
Instead, Garrett took over playcalling duties in November, when quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson moved up to the coaching booth alongside Callahan. That meant Garrett wore the headset that allowed him to send plays directly to quarterback Tony Romo.
"Jason was really your coordinator last year," Jones said. "That's a fact. That was one of the issues. It was unfair to Bill."
Jones said the Cowboys went into the season with every intention of Callahan being the playcaller, but that Garrett had a hard time giving up that role.
"That won't be the case this year," Jones said, because of the addition of Scott Linehan to the staff.
Linehan was hired to be the passing game coordinator and playcaller. Linehan has worked with Garrett in the past, which should translate to Garrett being more comfortable in relinquishing playcalling duties.
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