Believe it or not, but Cowboys tight end Jason Witten’s name was actually brought up in the Tennessee Volunteers’ coaching search. As if there wasn’t enough drama surrounding America’s Team.
No, he will not be leaving to become the next coach at the University of Tennessee, his alma mater.
"Coaching is something I can see myself down the road having one of those opportunities," Witten said Monday. "But right now, I'm all in with this team.
"My feet are planted firmly here with this opportunity I have here in 2017, getting it right this week. Not only that, but I really love this team I have and what we're trying to build and get it right, right now and beyond for the future.
"I feel too good to think I would consider something like that at this point."
If you’re wondering how this whole thing came about, look no further than Twitter..
On Monday morning, Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis wrote that Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten — a former Vols player — is frustrated with the program’s coaching search and “intending to pursue a career in coaching in the near future, has the support of several prominent boosters to take over as the next Tennessee football coach.”
Not only that, but Travis wrote that he was told that Witten would leave the Cowboys before the season is over to take the Vols’ job if it was offered to him. Travis adds that the plan with the 35-year-old Witten “would be to surround him with top coaching talent with substantial connections to Tennessee.”
But, don’t worry. Gold Jacket Witt is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
He said his focus is on Thursday's game against the Washington Redskins.
"I have this unbelievable opportunity and I love playing, and I think the people around you can say, 'Oh maybe one day he'll be a good coach and consider something like that,'" Witten said. "Certainly I can see that happening down the road, but no time soon. I'm enjoying loving what I'm doing right now."
Speaking of Witten, he is adamant that the players are still behind their coaching staff.
Witten says he and his teammates aren't questioning the head coach.
"He does a really good job of communicating with the players, kind of talking about what the formula looks like and the winning formula," Witten said. "Certainly have a lot of confidence in him as our head coach. Nobody in this locker room has quit or approached it that way of tuning out the coaches or anything like that. That's not the case at all."
In the midst of a very disappointing three-game losing streak, our own DannyPhantom wrote on why Jason Garrett is here to stay and will continue leading the most valuable franchise in American sports.
And here lies a big issue for the fans. Garrett’s lack of emotion and responsiveness sends a signal to Cowboys fans everywhere that he’s oblivious that there’s a problem. That is why the clapping meme is so popular. The team is playing really bad right now so for Garrett to just stand up at the podium and treat this like any other loss is going to infuriate people.
But Garrett’s job during a press conference isn’t to comfort us. He’s not going to single-out his players and criticize them like we like to do. He’s not going to attack the officiating no matter how putrid it was. And he’s not going to indulge any hypothetical situations that the media tries to get him to bite on. But just because he’s not doing any of those things doesn’t mean he’s not responsive to the problems going on around him. So you can either stay angry and convince yourself that Garrett lives in his own world of denial about the deficiencies of this team. Or, you can just scratch your mad spot and understand that’s just who Garrett is. Just because he doesn’t react the way we would in that same situation doesn’t mean he’s not taking things serious.
Despite having the players’ (and Danny’s) support, Robinson writes that these next two games may determine whether or not the 2016 AP NFL Coach of the Year leads the Cowboys beyond the 2017 season.
For a team that was the toast of the NFC only one season ago, that’s a multitude of problems that seemed unthinkable only four months ago. And in the middle of it all is a head coach in Garrett and a staff that has been gifted seven full years of patience with fairly little to show for it.
At some point, that’s going to come to an end. Jones can talk all he wants about “feeling good” and “proverbial endorsements,” but he knows a wasted season when he sees one. The 2017 campaign is dangerously close to entering that category, and the next two weeks will have a lot to do with it.
Four months ago, this situation would have been unthinkable to Jerry Jones. When he clasps his hands together now and talks about how “close” his Cowboys are, he might as well be referring to the end of a disappointing season – and the employment of some of the coaches who were responsible for maintaining it.
Could the Cowboys part ways with Jason Garrett? JJT writes on what circumstance that Dallas moves on from their coach.
If the free fall -- the embarrassing, non-competitive losses -- doesn't stop then Garrett just might lose his job. I don't think he will - as of today - because he was coach of the year last year and he won 12 games three years ago. But he's gotta stop the blowout losses and figure out a way to help Dak Prescott play better or Jerry just might decide he's not a red-headed genius after all.
Despite the complaints from many in the fan base, George writes that you should not expect any major changes to the defense.
Marinelli said he won't waver. Whether he's defensive coordinator on a 13-3 team from last year or head coach of a 0-16 Detroit Lions team in 2008, he sticks to what he does.
"I've been around it when it's had unbelievable success and I've been around it when it didn't," Marinelli said. "Once you vacillate you are done to me, especially when you have strong convictions. You vacillate, I would lose all respect.
"I have strong belief in our players and what we do, so I never question. That's the best part of it. Over my career, it's been questioned before. I just let it go. I just keep doing what I believe in."
OCC writes on what the last five games of the 2017 season means for the players and coaching staff.
A lot of discussion here and elsewhere in recent weeks has focused on some of the individual mistakes and coaching decisions that have been key in almost all of the Cowboys' six losses and cumulatively may have been a big part of why the Cowboys have dropped to 5-6. That's not to say that Ezekiel Elliott's absence hasn't impacted the 2017 Cowboys, but Elliott's absence is far from the only reason the Cowboys are on a three-game skid.
On paper, the 2017 Cowboys should have been a continuation of the 2016 Cowboys. Yet this 5-6 team looks nothing like last year's 13-3 team. In hindsight, as many have been pointing out repeatedly since free agency, the Cowboys may have let too many of their free agents walk in free agency. And it didn't need any amount of hindsight or foresight to understand that the young Cowboys defense was going to struggle this year. All of which shouldn't have mattered, because the Cowboys offense was going to steamroll opponents and score 30+ points in every game.
But that isn't happening.
Danny lays out four different options to vote on for why the 2017 season has not gone as planned or as hoped.
Judging the coordinators is tough. Fans have seen both Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli shine at times. I can’t count how many times both of these coordinators have been praised for their work during their tenure in Dallas. Last season, the Cowboys were top five in points scored and top five in points allowed. Linehan was creative in how he used his offensive weapons and Marinelli’s group produced great results despite struggles with a consistent pass rush or the ability to takeaway the ball.
But none of these things are happening now. Offensively, the Cowboys are struggling to find ways to sustain drives. You can’t blame them on the running game as both Alfred Morris and Rod Smith are making good runs. The offense just can’t convert on third downs. Defensively, Marinelli hasn’t been able to find the answers. Traditionally, he doesn’t like to blitz (6.5 attempts per game), but came after Rivers 14 times. The Chargers veteran quarterback would make him pay for blitzing, completing 9 of 13 passes for 139 yards. The Chargers didn’t have many problems converting on third as they went through the entire game without having to punt.