Coaching the Dallas Cowboys is one of the highest profile jobs you can have in professional sports. Jason Garrett holds the spot for now as the Cowboys head into an all-important Sunday night game against the Washington Redskins with the playoffs on the line. Despite recent comments from Dallas owner/general manager Jerry Jones, just how safe is Jason Garrett’s job with the Cowboys moving forward?
Speaking to reporters after the Cowboys OT loss to the New Orleans Saints, Jones said he’s not thinking about a coaching change. “I have no thoughts about making a coaching change. I’m real pleased with how Jason is coaching and how our staff is. There’s not a thought, there have been no conversations about anything differently than our keeping Jason.”
Of course Jones is going to say that publicly. His team can still win the NFC East and host a playoff game. Jones isn’t going to come out with another game to go and say he’s dissatisfied with his team. Even if the Cowboys reach the playoffs, I believe there is a 50-50 chance of Garrett being fired at the end of the season, unless the Cowboys go deep into the playoffs.
Jones has admitted in the past year that the window might be closing on the Cowboys. Jones recently turned 70 and there seems to be a sense of urgency from him. Possibly waiting in the wings is Sean Payton. Jason Garrett was a red-hot coaching prospect when he was an offensive coordinator but could you image what Payton could muster out of the current Dallas lineup? Could he be the coach to get Tony Romo to the next level?
Under Garrett, the Cowboys have been mired in mediocrity. Jerry Jones didn’t want to build a new stadium shrine for the Cowboys in order to be an average team. Marty Schottenheimer was fired after a 14-2 season by the San Diego Chargers in 2006, so why think that Jason Garrett should be considered safe even if the Cowboys finish 9-7 and win the NFC East? Especially with Sean Payton on the market.
Whether it gets reported in the media or not, I feel Jones will reach out to Payton to gauge his interest. He’d be a fool not to. It’s also foolish to assume that Jason Garrett will automatically return to the Cowboys sideline next season. This is Jerry Jones running the show, anything can happen.