Vote of Confidence?

No matter how much he wants to or would like to, Jerry Jones isn't ready to name Jason Garrett as his permanent coach.

He can't anyway because of the NFL rules that say he must interview at least one minority for the job in adherence to the Rooney Rule.

But there is no doubting that Garrett has won Jones over, just as he is with the players and the fans because of his ability to lead the Cowboys to wins on the field.

The Cowboys beat the Colts 38-35 in overtime Sunday giving Garrett his third win in four games as interim coach since taking over for the fired Wade Phillips.

After starting 1-7, the Cowboys are now 4-8 and feeling good. Jones has no illusions about winning out and making a playoff run. He said those thoughts went out the window when the Cowboys lost to the Saints on Thanksgiving Day. He said he had visions of getting back in the playoff race if the Cowboys could have finished 9-7. But 8-8 is not likely.

Jones clearly admits he didn't see the Cowboys going 3-1 in the first four games under Garrett considering two of the matchups were at the Giants and at the Colts. But the Cowboys surprisingly won those games in addition to beating the Lions.

But what's also true is that Jones didn't see the Cowboys going 1-7 to start the season — one that began with him talking about a Super Bowl run.

The Cowboys are still tainted by their disappointing start and there is nothing that can happen now to make up for that. Still there is no doubt that Garrett is living up to everything Jones expected and hoped as a head coach.

"The opportunity to win over the team and win over the fans is good for Jason," Jones said. "I am really proud for our fans. I'm proud for our players. I'm proud that Jason is looking good. But it doesn't surprise me he is able to handle all he is doing, being a head coach and coordinator. That doesn't surprise me. I would have bet anything he could handle that. I am happy we are having good results."

Garrett has won the Cowboys over because the team has taken over his personality.

But more than Knute Rockne speeches and game plans, it's his preparation, energy, and positive attitude in the face of adversity that has rubbed off most on the Cowboys.

Upon being named as Phillips' replacement four weeks ago, Garrett spent no time talking about the team's dismal 1-7 record and disappointing play; he focused only on the opportunity to coach the Cowboys, going to work and having fun.

That's what the Cowboys have done in winning three of four games. They haven't blinked in the face of adversity. They have battled back and kept playing and made their own opportunities.

"He didn't blink when he was given the head coaching job," Jones said. "He said this is a great opportunity for me. 'Let's go.' I'm proud of the team. I'm proud of Jason for his energy and workmanship."

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