"I do my best work without a net. I really do," Jones told reporters Saturday when asked why he has not extended Garrett's contract, per the team's official website. "I'm better with a little risk involved. In essence, there's a little bit of no net here."
Garrett's contract expires at the end of the 2019 season.
Garrett seemed to be coaching for his job when Dallas had a 3-5 record at the halfway mark of the 2018 season, but the Cowboys rallied to win the NFC East and make the Divisional Round for the third time in the past five years.
The late-season turnaround, however, did not lead to a new deal as Garrett now faces a proverbial lame-duck season.
Garrett, who lived through a similar contract situation in 2014, downplayed his lack of long-term security when he met with reporters in Indianapolis, saying "[I] never spent much time thinking of the business part of my job." Jones, as he has multiple times this offseason, reiterated his support for his head coach.
"He (Garrett) is not in danger of having any issue with his credibility with his players or anybody else," Jones said. "It's well known, the support I have for him. No one breathing wants him to win and win big more than I do, and we haven't done anything here with what we have done or haven't done relative to contract. We haven't done anything to forego having a long relationship. We haven't done one thing, by taking our position that we have right now, in my mind. And we've got the kind of situation that I think our fans want.
Clearly, more postseason success would go a long way to shoring up Garrett's status. Garrett has a 2-3 playoff record in his eight full seasons as Cowboys coach and has yet to make an NFC Championship Game. Jones has not been shy about his desires to see Dallas back in the Super Bowl for the first time since the mid-90s.
"This is my 30th combine, and I don't have 30 more," Jones said. "There is absolutely nothing, short of the health and goodwill of the people I care about, there's nothing that means more to me than if I could get a Super Bowl. Nothing."