It has been a difficult short week for the Dallas Cowboys. Losing has that sort of effect.
While the public perception is that Jason Garrett’s status as the head coach of the Cowboys could be in jeopardy, ultimately the decision rests in the hands of the Jones family, namely Jerry Jones. What has made this week all the more interesting is that Jerry offered up some comments in the aftermath of last week’s loss that really expressed his disappointment. That’s not good if you’re Jason Garrett.
The expectation for the Dallas Cowboys, these Dallas Cowboys, is to win. The roster is very talented and this is a group that should be challenging for a Super Bowl. While they are in first place in the NFC East they have yet to beat a team of serious note and therefore things feel pretty grim entering Turkey Day.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, Jerry Jones and some of the other Jones family members appeared on Good Morning Football on Wednesday to promote the work that they do with the Salvation Army. Of course Jerry was asked about Jason Garrett and he defended him, sort of, kind of, not really though.
"No one in this country has earned the right to say 'I'm a Jason Garrett man' more than me. I am his man."— GMFB (@gmfb) November 27, 2019
Jerry Jones joined #GMFB to talk about the status of @dallascowboys HC Jason Garrett. pic.twitter.com/4kI3UCe7qa
“Let me tell you. No one in this country has earned the right to say ‘I’m a Jason Garrett man’ more than me. I am his man. And we want the very same thing and that’s for our players to play at their very best, and we want his staff to coach at their very best. The bottom line is we get graded- I’m in business. I don’t have to win the Super Bowl in business every year. I can come in sixth and have a hell of a year. But in this business you’ve got to come in first. You’ve got to come in first. And so fundamentally you’ve asked for something that’s a very narrow window to begin with. I want Jason to get it done.”
Jerry Jones is clearly miffed. He understands that he has a very good football team on his hands and that they are much better than a 6-5 record would suggest. Losing close football games is frustrating for anyone let alone someone who knows that better results can be achieved.
Jerry is right in that nobody has been a Jason Garrett man more than him. He has defended and stood by Garrett longer than anyone in the country (the world while we’re at it). He purposely allowed Garrett to enter this season without the security of being the team’s head coach beyond this season and this could be his way of applying the last bit of pressure as the final quarter of the season approaches.
There are growing reports that the Cowboys are going to move on from Garrett
Typically where there is smoke there is fire and that might be what’s happening here with the Cowboys. Lots of talk about Jason Garrett’s job status means that the Cowboys themselves are potentially talking about it which can’t be good if you’re Jason Garrett.
What’s more is that we’re starting to see names of potential replacements pop up. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reported on Wednesday that Jason Garrett would have to win a Super Bowl to keep his job and listed two names that the Cowboys are apparently more focused on than others: Urban Meyer and Josh McDaniels.
So far, no human can see into the future. But that isn’t stopping some NFL coaches and team officials from guessing about the coaching future of the Dallas Cowboys, and when they do, they come up with two related predictions:
First, that it’s only a matter of time before current coach Jason Garrett is fired. I don’t mean to sound cruel, speculating about someone’s employment, but this is the NFL and it’s brutal business. Garrett will be fine. He signed a five-year, $30 million deal in 2015, so he’s not likely to miss any meals.
Second, there is increasing belief around the league that owner Jerry Jones is focusing on two primary candidates as replacements—former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Garrett’s job security has been speculated about many times before, and he has always survived. But this time, league sources say, the rumors feel different. Garrett, who’s been the head coach in Dallas since midway through the 2010 season, would have to win a Super Bowl to keep his job, according to the sources.
You’ll note that Urban Meyer was the head coach at The Ohio State University when Ezekiel Elliott played there and even won a National Championship after the 2014 season, coincidentally at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play.
Urban Meyer has actually spoken about the Dallas Cowboys head coaching job before. You might remember that back in October he appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. At the time Urban was asked if he thought Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley would consider the Cowboys job if it were ever available, and he described the situation in Dallas as one that sounded pretty great.
.@ColinCowherd: Would Lincoln Riley consider leaving Oklahoma for the Cowboys?@CoachUrbanMeyer: I can't speak for him. I hate to even speculate... That's the one job in professional football you say, 'I've got to go do that'. pic.twitter.com/nBNgpNUaZa— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 18, 2019
“Pure speculation because he’s not... I know him, but I don’t know him like that. But that’s the one. That’s New York Yankees, that’s the Dallas Cowboys, that’s the one. Great city. You’ve got Dak Prescott, you’ve got Zeke Elliott, you’ve got a loaded team. I can’t speak for him [Lincoln Riley] obviously, I hate to even speculate because I don’t know him and that’s really not fair. But to me that’s the one job in professional football you kind of say ‘I’ve got to go do that.’”
As noted this conversation was primarily centered around Lincoln Riley. Obviously Urban Meyer is not presently coaching which would theoretically make him an option to coach the Cowboys (or anyone else) as well should that job become available. Urban was asked right after this if he had been contacted by the Cowboys and while noting that he had not, he did say that he would certainly pay it attention if he ever was.
Cowherd: Have you been called by the Cowboys?
Urban: I have not.
Cowherd: But if you would have been... You’d have spent a couple of days with it?
Urban: Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. That one? Yes.
While Josh McDaniels is also listed alongside Urban Meyer there will definitely be hesitation from any team to bring him on as head coach given the way that he spurned the Indianapolis Colts back in 2018. We have no idea who the head coach of the Cowboys is going to be in 2020, but it’s safe to say that what happens over the course of these next five games is going to go a long way in deciding that.
We’ll see what happens.