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BTB Mailbag: What Happens If The Cowboys Fail In 2013?

With all the changes that were made after the team missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year, one reader wants to know what happens if the team doesn't improve.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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On to this post's question!

If we have another 8-8 season or worse, do you think Jerry will blow up the team? – ScotsCowboysFan

O.C.C.: I do think that another season like the last two means Garrett is gone. But I don't know about ‘blowing up the team'. I think Jerry Jones - and the rest of the Cowboys organization for that matter - believes they have sufficient talent on the team to be a playoff contender. Which is why the last two 8-8 season are such a big disappointment for the Cowboys.

The team will eventually have to find successors for the current crop of stars like Romo, Ware, Austin and Witten, but that will have to happen regardless of how the team finishes next season.

Archie: Another 8-8 season or worse is probably going to bring a lot of changes from the owner. Honestly, Jerry is the owner and he has the right to make serious changes if this team fails to make the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. This team may have holes, but there is enough talent to get into the playoffs.

For two consecutive seasons, they played their last game of the regular season with a shot to win the division and get into the playoffs. The Cowboys aren't far away from getting back to the playoffs, but another failure of a season could result in Jones making changes at head coach and important skill positions.

Tom: No. He may decide Jason Garrett is not the right head coach, but I don't see him blowing things up. What would that entail, anyway? Getting rid of Tony Romo (not unless he has a horrendous year), Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Brandon Carr, Mo Claiborne? Who would he replace them with, and how would he pay for them? I also don't think he is going to turn over a lot of the coaching staff again after only a year.

I actually would not be sure Garrett would lose his job unless there were signs he was losing the team like Wade Phillips did. And if JJ decided to change out the head coach, he may decide to promote from within. There are several people with HC experience on the staff already. Bill Callahan would seem one who might be a possibility. Rod Marinelli might also be given a shot to prove his Detroit Lions experience was not a real indicator of his ability. He and Monte Kiffin have a rather unique relationship, and I think Monte would be fine with getting jumped over.

If JJ decided to replace Garrett from outside - well, I hate to admit it, but Jon Gruden would be set up. Although you could make a similar argument for Lovie Smith, and that would be a lot easier to tolerate. I think it would be worth looking at a coach who would come in and want to keep many of the current staff rather than clean house and start over. But he might make another call, and that could lead to a lot of changes.

It is not going to be a major housecleaning of players, however. You just can't do that with the way the cap and free agency work now. Mostly, I strongly hope that this is not a topic to discuss next year, because I want to see the process start to pay off by the team making the playoffs.