Jerry on Garrett contract: Working without a net

INDIANAPOLIS — On multiple occasions this offseason, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has heaped praise on Jason Garrett, but it has not altered his mind about giving his coach a new contract.

Garrett enters 2019 on the final year of a five-year, $30 million deal he signed in 2015. That contract came after the first time he was coaching for his future and directed the Cowboys to a 12-4 record and a spot in the playoffs.

If Jones loves Garrett so much, why wouldn’t he give the coach a longer deal?

“Well, I just like the dynamics considering the relationship we have, the trust we have, our goals,” Jones said during a wide-ranging, 50-minute interview on the team’s luxury bus from the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. “I do my best work without a net. I really do. I’m better with a little risk involved, and so in essence there’s a little bit of no net here. And the real question is why not?

“He’s not in danger of having any issue with his credibility with the players or anybody else. It’s well-known the support I have for him. And no one — no one breathing — wants him to win and win big more than I do. We haven’t done anything here with what we have done or haven’t done relative to contract. We haven’t done anything to forego having a long relationship. We haven’t done one thing by taking our position we have right now, in my mind. And we’ve got the kind of situation that I think our fans want.”

Tom Landry coached the Cowboys for 29 years, winning 250 games and two Super Bowls. Entering his ninth full season, Garrett is the second-longest-tenured Cowboys coach. He has not gotten the Cowboys past the divisional round in three playoff trips, but Jones continues to admire his work.

“He’s never lost a team. Ever. Under any circumstances, even when we’ve had some real dark days to look at looking ahead, he’s never lost a team in terms of their belief in him and in terms of their will to work for him as far as a head coach,” Jones said. “That’s impressive, very impressive. I’ve seen good works there. Hopefully that can come together, we get him a Super Bowl, he’ll be maybe the longest-tenured coach in the history of the Cowboys.”

If the Cowboys win a Super Bowl, then it will be with Dak Prescott at quarterback.

Jones said the Cowboys are talking to Prescott’s agent, Todd France, regarding a new deal, but he did not put a timetable on when one could get done. Like Garrett, Prescott is signed through 2019 and set to make $2.02 million this season.

“His contract is one that is squarely in the eye of the needle relative to that part of running a football team, getting his contract done,” Jones said. “And we’ve got several that are in that category, but we are in that activity, we’re in that window, we’re in that time when you do this. There’s nothing notable here other than the fact that it’s as substantive as it is. But there’s nothing notable about where we are and where we aren’t in our dialogue with him. It’s business as usual. Nothing to flare over here.”

Jones is not scared of the potential price for a long-term deal, which could be more than $25 million annually.

“It’s not uncommon for people or positions or your particular contribution to have a lot of money involved,” Jones said. “I understand it.”

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