As you know, I am never short of thoughts on these Cowboys issues. But, I thought that today - the day after Jason Garrett was hired - that it was more important to have a written record of Jerry Jones' words so that it never becomes uncertain what he said or what he meant on this day. He was very definitive and I think this can be a reference tool for years to come.
Not sure I was born to be a great transcriber, but this is the exact transcript (to the best of my ability) of a 6 minute conversation between a group of media and Jerry Jones after the press conference. Media is in italics and Jerry doesn't always speak in complete sentences and paragraphs but I did the best I could:
"I never cut a player. I've never cut a player. Now, in the NFL the only name up there that can cut a player is mine. Just so you know in the office if you want to get official. But that's not how we operate, and I've never operated that way.
But the comfort that you have the relationship with Jason, that is what makes the perimeters of this relationship different?
Again, to make sure we all understand why I went out of my way because 1st of all he was asked the question "Do you" and I thought it was very appropriate that i answered that question. And I wanted our fans and you to know where it is. And he is just going to have the final say. He is going to have the final say on anybody on our staff. And anybody that - like our strength coach is part of the staff.
He is going to not have somebody on this team or a player or a type of player or a type of character that he does not have on the team. I just not going to do that.
Well. the difference is you hired him before you hired Wade, so I guess conceivably Wade could have fired the offensive coordinator last time after he was hired? I guess that is where we are trying to...
Well, if you say conceivably, no, he couldn't have done that. No. No.
But, your saying if Wade didn't want Jason on the staff, he couldn't have done that?
Well, I wouldn't have wanted that to happen, and that wouldn't have been the spirit of things.
Well, that is where we are trying to get the difference here.
Well, get the difference. Wade was hired with a mutual agreement that Jason was going to be the offensive coordinator and he wouldn't have been hired. That does answer your question.
But that is different than the coach having the final say.
But, well, what i just said to you was that in Jason's case, my policy - what I am going to do - is that Jason is going to pick all of the coaches on the staff and I want our fans to know that. and the other thing that I want them to know is that we are not going to have a player - I hate to keep being redundant but I think it is important that I say it because we all know an owner can change his mind. Not this one. (laughter) But, owners do change their mind. But rather do you want a declaration of independence? Well, do you know if you had it under contract that I could still do it differently? That's my point. So why would you say that obviously if you don't have an agreement or if you are hiring someone there that you might totally disagree with that might not be the guy you go get. Go get somebody that we agree with.
There was a feeling that some of the people in here before were just so happy to have the job that they would agree to anything. It feels with this hire that you have more an equal. is that fair?
I think that what you need to do is interpret what we are doing as I want him to have the benefit of all of the experience I have had in 22 years. Where I have been criticized. Where fan perception or your perception which can become the fan's perception then I wanted you to hear me say - and I didn't want Jason to look surprised - and you asked the question of whether this was a tenant of his contract and pound the fist and want that kind of thing. We aren't even going to get into that one way or another. The way we are going to operate is the way that I outlined.
Now, I again am trying to remember a time. And I can remember a few on draft picks. But, apart from that, I don't know that I have ever had a real push back where one of my coaches had a problem with the staff.
But, you didn't have coaches that would push back.
Of course I did. Of course I did. If you didn't think Barry Switzer would push back.
OK, well post-Barry.
Seriously. Barry pushed back. Bill would push back. But fundamentally at the end of the day if I were strong enough on the point and felt that strong about it he would go with me. But my point is that Bill would push back. You underestimate the bristle in Wade Phillips. He would push back. There was an underestimation there. Chan Gailey decided to leave rather than change some things. Decided to leave. Ok, one way or another You'd like to think that those aren't acceptable alternatives. But, Chan did, and he did. Which surprised me.
Isn't it important that the players understand the extent of Jason's Power? You said its important for the fans and the media to understand the extent of Jason's power, but isn't it important for the players to understand that?
Oh yes. And I am aware with the personal identification that I have with the management of the Cowboys and what we do as a franchise, I am very aware of how that influences and can influence. And so I am going out of my way to make sure that our fans know that in spite of that influence really understand how we are going to operate. And that is the reason that I am being as definitive as I am about this.
Does this all come back to your confidence in Jason?
He would not be the head coach of the Cowboys if I did not have confidence in him. Decision making and those kind of things. Everybody knows that two heads, three heads are better than one. Everybody knows that. And I have watched him operate and I have watched him get that input as decisions are made. And certainly the kinds of decisions he will have to be making as the head coach.
So, This is not a hedge. It is not a hedge in anyway. Its real simple on two points. Regarding the staff and regarding the players. And what you heard me say, is 1) he will have the final say on the staff and 2) there will not be a player on the team that he has not agreed to on the 53 or the 8.
I shall keep this transcript on file in hopes it is followed.