Miles Kennedy, Associated Press
Dallas Cowboys interim head coach Jason Garrett reacts after a touchdown by tight end Jason Witten in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011, in Philadelphia. Dallas won 14-13.

IRVING, Texas — Dolphins assistant head coach Todd Bowles wasn't able to persuade Jerry Jones to make him an NFL head coach when he tried four years ago. He hopes he made a better pitch Wednesday.

Bowles spent about two hours with Jones, making him the third known candidate to become the next coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

"We had a good talk, a real good talk," Bowles said. "I gave him a lot to think about. ... I'm grateful for the chance to come in here. They thought enough of me to come in here and interview, so that was good."

Jones' next move could be a decision. He's said he wants to act swiftly and that he wasn't planning to have many candidates. Jason Garrett is considered the heavy favorite after going 5-3 following the midseason firing of Wade Phillips. The other known interviewee was receivers coach Ray Sherman, who is 59.

Sherman and Bowles are black — one from inside the organization and one from outside, one a veteran and the other still in the prime of his coaching career. If fulfilling the letter and spirit of the league's Rooney Rule was the only thing keeping Jones from giving the job to Garrett, then his path is clear.

Unless Bowles or Sherman won him over.

The 47-year-old Bowles said he believes his interview was legitimate, not just a quota-filler.

"I didn't get that impression at all," said Bowles, who was Dallas' secondary coach from 2005-07.

Bowles and Garrett were among the 10 candidates Jones considered before hiring Wade Phillips in 2007. Since that interview, Bowles also has been up for the head coach position in Detroit and Denver.

"I don't know if I'm a better candidate (now) — I'm an older candidate," Bowles said, laughing.

The Cowboys also are in the market for a defensive coordinator. Would he want that job?

"Right now, I'm focused on the head job," Bowles said. "We'll see what happens there. If that doesn't work out, hopefully something else comes up."