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By Tom Withers | Associated Press
BEREA — Browns president Mike Holmgren is on his way out. He just hasn’t decided where he’s going or what he wants to do.
Hoping to squelch a weekend report that he would be interested in coaching the Dallas Cowboys if Jason Garrett gets fired, Holmgren, who may leave the Browns before this season ends, went out of his way Monday to make it known he isn’t angling for any job.
Holmgren made an unscheduled appearance in the media room at Browns headquarters to deny he is pursuing a future with the Cowboys. During a farewell news conference on Oct. 23, Holmgren had opened the possibility of a return to coaching.
“I haven’t booked my tickets to Dallas,” joked Holmgren, who spent Cleveland’s bye week with his wife, Kathy, in Arizona. “I haven’t talked to a single soul. That’s the first thing. The second thing is I honestly don’t know what the future holds or what I want to do. Honestly. Believe me on that. Thirdly, I’ve always been, quite honestly, bothered by the speculation during the season when coaches are trying to work and they’re fighting like crazy for their jobs, and I would never do that.
“I would never do that to anybody. I have tremendous respect for obviously Jason Garrett.”
Adding intrigue is that the Browns (2-7) visit the Cowboys (4-5) this week.
On Sunday, Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com reported that Holmgren has “serious interest” in the Dallas’ job if it opened because of a competitive roster, skill players and his relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The two served together on the NFL’s competition committee.
The 64-year-old Holmgren said while he and Jones have remained good friends, he hasn’t expressed any interest in them working together again.
“I just wouldn’t do that,” he said. “So help me with that, please. I’m telling you the way it is. I have no idea how any of that stuff gets started, but I’m telling you the straight scoop on that, OK?”
Holmgren said he has not spoken to his agent, Bob LaMonte, in a month and that he doesn’t know where the report started.
“I don’t know anything about it, I’m just telling you what I’m saying,” he said. “I’m telling you and you got it straight from the horse’s mouth.”
Holmgren hopes to remain with the Browns until the end of this season in an advisory role. He was not offered a position under new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who brought in former Philadelphia President Joe Banner as the club’s CEO.
“As long as I feel I can contribute a little bit and helping some of the players and helping the coaches a little bit, Joe (Banner) and I have talked,” Holmgren said. “As long as I’m feeling good about a contribution I’ll stay, but if I’m not helping that could change, but right now the plan is to be here through the end of the season.”
Holmgren doesn’t think the report on any link to the Cowboys will distract the Browns from preparing for this week’s game.
“I cannot imagine that,” he said. “Why I came down here is that it’s everything I don’t believe in on a story like that. I wouldn’t do that. And I didn’t do it. That’s why.”
Browns cornerback Joe Haden laughed when he was asked if Holmgren’s situation would sidetrack him and his teammates.
“There’s nothing that can distract us,” Haden said. “We’ve been through it all.”
Holmgren intends to attend Sunday’s game at Cowboy Stadium — but not for an interview.
“Yeah, and I hope to say hello to Jerry (Jones) and those guys,” he said.