Owner Jerry Jones does not want to discuss the future of coach Jason Garrett while the Dallas Cowboys remain in the playoff hunt. That much is abundantly clear.
If the Cowboys fail on national television with a chance to win the division for the third consecutive season finale, though, all bets are off.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Media columnist Michael Silver reported on Monday’s edition of NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” that jobs are indeed on the line in Dallas.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones told Silver that everybody in the organization is under pressure to perform for their jobs over the next two weeks. That includes “players, coaches, executives — everybody.”
Although ownership has given Garrett a vote of confidence regardless of the season’s outcome, that sentiment appears to have changed after the younger Jones referred to Sunday’s loss as one of the top-five most “brutal moments” in the 25 years he and his father have run the Cowboys.
Several people inside the Cowboys’ building have told Rapoport that nobody believes Jerry’s pledge to keep Garrett on board. In fact, the consensus is that it’s now “playoffs or bust” for Garrett’s livelihood in Dallas.
The front office changed defensive coordinators and play callers after the last two 8-8 seasons. If there’s a third, Garrett is expected to be the “next domino to fall,” per Silver.
There is an understanding at Valley Ranch that the talent level isn’t up to par, especially on defense. There’s also frustration among teammates that Romo has continued to audible from the run to the pass.
Those two factors aren’t enough to give Garrett a pass considering the ongoing struggles with game planning, play calling and time management in close games. The Week 17 showdown versus the Eagles might very well decide this coaching staff’s fate for the 2014 season.