- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Super Bowl-winning coaches have contacted him about becoming his next head coach, but he hinted that he hopes interim coach Jason Garrett will earn the job on a permanent basis.
"I will say that before I made the decision with Wade Phillips, I had Super Bowl-winning coaches solicit this job," Jones said during his weekly appearance on KRLD-FM.
Jones, who fired Phillips on Monday after the Cowboys fell to 1-7, did not elaborate which coaches had contacted him or whether he intended to pursue any of the available coaches with Super Bowl rings -- a group that includes Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Brian Billick and Tony Dungy.
Jones cut off a follow-up question, suggesting it'd be inappropriate to discuss the issue three days after appointing Garrett as the interim coach.
Dungy said Friday that he had no interest in the Cowboys' job.
"I'm not interested. But you never know what's going to happen or who's going to call. ... I do think it's a better job than people think," Dungy told "The Dan Patrick Show." "It would be somebody like me, but it wouldn't be me.
"[Jones] needs a Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden or Mike Holmgren. Those are the kind of guys he needs. All three of those guys would be pretty good right now."
When Jones introduced Garrett as the interim coach Monday, he emphasized that Garrett would be strongly considered as a long-term candidate if the Cowboys showed promise in the second half of the season. Jones said Friday that Garrett won't necessarily be judged by how many wins the Cowboys have the remainder of the season.
"It's a huge challenge for our team and, of course, a huge challenge for Jason," Jones said. "If he can meet this challenge square on and he can pull his nose up, if he can do things that you see that direction, then that's going to be impressive. Very few people have ever come into a coaching situation with any more challenges.
"We all know his qualities. He's from a great football background. He's got a great background with the Cowboys. I know what he's capable of, his demeanor, how he carries himself, how he approaches. I know all of those things. There's no stranger here for me in Jason Garrett. How the team responds, what we can do on a player-by-player basis, all of those things will weigh into it. I do not have a won-loss percentage in mind or a number of wins that impact what I do in the future."
Garrett was one of 11 coaches who interviewed with Jones after Bill Parcells resigned following the 2006 season. Jones hired Garrett, who won three Super Bowl rings with the Cowboys as Troy Aikman's backup, as the offensive coordinator before hiring Phillips.
Garrett added the assistant head coach title and was made the highest-paid assistant coach in the league after the 2007 season, when he turned down an offer to become the Baltimore Ravens' head coach.
He also was strongly pursued by the Atlanta Falcons that winter. Jones said Friday that Garrett, who also interviewed with the St. Louis Rams and Denver Broncos, has turned down three offers to become a head coach in the past three years.
Jones, who said Parcells solicited the Cowboys' job in 2003, expects there will be great interest again in the Dallas vacancy.
However, he made it clear he's more concerned about finding the right fit than hiring a coach with a résumé that will impress fans.
"John Madden told me the Cowboys do not need a big-name coach," Jones said. "The Cowboys have a big name. What the Cowboys need is a good coach."
7hEric D. Williams
8hSharon Katz & Hank Gargiulo