Jerry Jones on why he took so long to fire Jason Garrett

Jerry Jones really did have a soft spot for his former coach Jason Garrett, and that’s why it seemingly took him forever to fire his long-time coach.

“Of the 30 years I’ve been with the Cowboys, I’ve written a check to the Garretts,” owner Jerry Jones told reporters on Wednesday, the same day Dallas introduced its new coach, Mike McCarthy. “Think about that a minute, all but two years. All but two. Counting his dad (long-time Cowboys scout Jim Garrett), and counting him, his brothers. All of ’em. … I will tell you that I had a great 30 years around the Garrett family and it’s wonderful, it’s a good feeling and it is one of the best parts of my life.

And it’s why Jones didn’t want to casually fire Garrett.

“(I) not only respect what he brought to help what we’re sitting in, help what we’re doing,” Jones said of Garrett, who compiled an 85-67 mark in his 9¹/₂ seasons with the Cowboys, going 2-3 in the playoffs in that span. “Their family has been a part of that in their own way, as we all know not the way, it took too many people, too many former players, coaches and everybody involved to get to be sitting here today, but I felt strongly about that.

“We all wanted this to have a very nice, if possible under the circumstances, soft landing.”

Though it took longer to fire Garrett, once Jones and the Cowboys made the decision on Sunday, McCarthy was hired 24 hours later.

“We’re where we are, there’s none of this — smallest violin — there’s none of this folks, at all, here,” Jones said. “What you criticize about Jason, you should criticize me for. And I say that not trying to be big boy here. I’m just saying, you should.

“He’s a great guy. He’s got a great family and we know it’s going to be good for him. And by the way, just as I’ve been, he’s been one lucky guy to get to be a part of this organization and the Dallas Cowboys for all these years. And he’d be the first one to tell you that.”

Despite Jones’ warm feelings for Garrett, the McCarthy introductory press conference proved he didn’t have any regrets about changing the team’s coaching direction. The loquacious owner also said he likes the fact McCarthy went through some adversity, which led to his departure from the Green Bay Packers.

“You can get in that foxhole with somebody that hasn’t been shot at it, hasn’t ever been in a foxhole,” Jones said. “You can get in there with somebody’s that been shot at. Or you can get in there with somebody that’s been shot at and hit and still going. Now that’s the one I want to be in there with.”

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