Publicly, the Dallas Cowboys insist they’re holding out the last bit of hope for Jason Garrett.
Privately, it’s a different matter.
A source tells Newy Scruggs of NBC 5 that “no one is in [Garrett’s] corner” and, with his contract set to expire after the season, the Cowboys are “done with him.”
“The Cowboys will have a new head coach in 2020,” Scruggs adds.
Obviously, this flies in the face of Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones and team vice president Stephen Jones, both of whom have thrown a modicum of support behind the beleaguered Garrett, whose decade-long reign is in grave danger.
Speaking after Dallas’ 26-15 loss to the Bills on Thanksgiving, the club’s third defeat in its last four games, an emotional Jerry Jones strongly declined to make a coaching change.
“This is not the time for me,” Jones said Thursday evening with tears in his eyes, per ESPN.com. “I’m looking ahead at another ballgame. I’m looking ahead at winning four or five straight and helping write a story they will talk about, how it looks like you’re down and out. And I mean that. That’s the way that I’m operating. Every decision that I make over the next month will be with an eye in mind to get us in the Super Bowl now.”
A report by ESPN’s Ed Werder prior to the Buffalo tilt claimed the Joneses will allow Garrett to finish 2019 “no matter what.”
Seeing as how the Cowboys have an aversion to executing in-season dismissals, it makes sense to retain Garrett while they’re still competitive, hanging onto a narrow lead atop the NFC East. If the team was, say, 3-9 instead of 6-6, it likely would have forced Jones’ hand.
But at this juncture, unless the Cowboys clot the bleeding and Garrett magically regains control of the falling-apart locker room, it’s an inevitability — when, not if — he’s shown the door.
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Jones Denounced Garrett Firing
In Dallas’ worst defeat of the season (yes, including the Jets disaster), they were outcoached and outclassed by a better, hungrier Bills squad, who moved to 9-3 on the year with the 11-point blowout — a game that was much less competitive than the score indicates.
The spiraling Cowboys are on the precipice of ceding the division to the 5-6 Eagles, who own the common opponents tiebreaker. But Big D technically remains in control of its destiny with better-than-good odds of clinching a postseason berth. For that reason, and for that reason only, Jones refuses to pull the plug on Garrett, his longtime friend.
“I know Jason very well. I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to spend a football life with him, so I know him very well,” he said, per the Dallas Morning News. “… Nobody wants Jason to go, and I’m going to tell you this right now, he’s got my back, too.”
Garrett Reacts to Bills Loss
Though apparently not a dead man walking (yet), Garrett’s hot seat is cranked to scorching levels, nearly engulfing the 53-year-old. He’s self-aware enough to realize that Dallas has little margin for error if they’re to qualify for the playoffs and potentially save his job.
“You just have to get back to work. That’s the nature of the National Football League. It’s hard every week,” Garrett said, per ESPN.com. “You are going to deal with adversities over the course of the year. You’re going to have to deal with the successes over the course of the year. You have to learn from them and move on and get ready for the next challenge.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL