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Thursday, November 8, 2012
Stephen Jones: Ridiculous to speculate on Jason Garrett's future

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- While some outside of the Dallas Cowboys organization wonder about Jason Garrett's head coaching future, executive vice president Stephen Jones doesn't.

"I won't even comment on that, period," Jones said Thursday. "That's ridiculous."

Garrett has posted a 16-16 record since taking over midway through the 2010 season for Wade Phillips, but the Cowboys have lost nine of their last 13 games. The Cowboys are 3-5 this season and have lost two straight as they head to Philadelphia on Sunday.

With the possibility of Sean Payton becoming a free-agent coach after his suspension ends, there has been much speculation between the New Orleans coach and Cowboys.

Jones, however, believes Garrett is putting the right culture in place for long-term success.

"I think we're going in the right direction," Jones said. "I think there's accountability. I think our players play hard. I think we not only have good football players, I think we have good people. I think one thing about our team you can look at it and they're playing hard.

They're playing hard till the end. They handle adversity well. The Giants (game), a lot of teams not playing hard, that aren't being led would've turned it in at 23-0 and our team fought back. I thought they did an outstanding job. They didn't finish and that's been our problem and that we've got to do. I don't think there's any magical answer to this. It's just got to continue to work hard and we have to finish.
Close isn't good enough. We've got to win football games."

Jones acknowledged the Cowboys have underachieved so far.

"We had higher expectations than this," Jones said. "Obviously you're disappointed with our record, but we've got to pay better. We've got to play better. We've got to win. At the end of the day you are what you are. We're 3-5 and we've got to improve."

Criticism of owner and general manager Jerry Jones has stepped up this week with the team's start and with comments made by former coach Jimmy Johnson.

Stephen Jones would not address any of Johnson's assertions about who had control when Johnson was coach or the "country club" feel where players do not fear for their jobs.

"I think the organization is (accountable for the poor start)," Jones said. "We all work hard at it. We all have a lot of input into this. I do. It's unfair that Jerry gets all of it. It's unfair that Jason gets all of it. It's unfair that Tony (Romo) gets it. We're all in this together. Whatever criticism comes our way, we deserve it. We have to be better than that. We owe our fans more than this. We need to have a better football team out there."