NFC East Rival ‘Legitimate Landing Spot’ for Cowboys HC Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett

Getty Jason Garrett

This may well be Jason Garrett’s last season with Dallas, but he could see the Cowboys again in 2020.


NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Garrett is a “real and legitimate” suitor for the New York Giants, who’ve eyed the 53-year-old for the better part of the decade.

The interest apparently is mutual, as New York is Garrett’s “preferred destination” if the lame-duck head man doesn’t receive a new contract from the Cowboys.

“The job status of Jason Garrett is always a conversation in Dallas,” Rapoport said. “Meanwhile, the Giants are struggling again under coach Pat Shurmur in his second year. So let’s fast forward a little bit: What if the Giants move on from Shurmur and what if the Cowboys and Jason Garrett part ways? My understanding is the Giants have emerged as a real and legitimate potential landing spot for Garrett. First of all, it is his preferred destination if he can’t stick with the Cowboys. And second, back in 2014, the Giants were trying to decide should they fire Tom Coughlin. My understanding is they would have fired Coughlin if they could get Jason Garrett. Instead, he signed an extension and the Giants held onto Coughlin. We will keep watching this one.”

Working the final year of the $30 million extension he signed in 2015, Garrett has logged an 83-63 record across ten seasons at the helm. The Cowboys started 3-0 for the first time in his tenure before suffering consecutive defeats. They’re presently 6-4, winners of two of their last three, and face a playoff-implicating tilt Sunday at 9-1 New England.

Garrett fits the Giants’ pattern of targeting offensive-minded coaches; like Shurmur, he was a coordinator before being promoted to the big seat. But he’d be a welcome deviation. Shurmur had zero prior HC experience whereas Garrett would bring a decade-plus of on-the-job training.

If Cowboys owner Jerry Jones lets him get away.

“I am looking for reasons. I’m looking for reasons to keep him,” Jones said on Oct. 21, per Pro Football Talk. “It’s merited here. It’s hard to get an effective coach and get it locked in with all you have to do retool and redo. I’m comfortable. We have established some security apart from the won-loss. He represents the organization well on and off the field. You don’t have to wake up in the morning reading about it.”

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Giants Reporter Calls for Big Blue to Hire Garrett

Give credit to reporter Darryl Slater, who beat Rapoport to the punch earlier this month, penning a column urging the G-Men to land JG. Slater’s logic echoes the aforementioned bit about New York likely to lure a veteran coach rather than gamble on another rookie.

As a pending coaching free agent, Garrett could also choose to leave Dallas, though it seems unlikely he would bolt for the Giants if the Cowboys wanted him back. Dallas is a better situation right now. So if Jones wants Garrett, then Garrett surely returns in 2020.

But even in this case — and barring a Garrett contract extension before season’s end — Mara needs to take a serious run at Garrett … and make him say no. What’s the harm in trying?

Say Shurmur gets canned and Garrett is available. Then Garrett should be Mara’s first call. He would be one of the best coaching candidates available next offseason — if not the best.

There are plenty of up-and-coming candidates the Giants could pursue to replace Shurmur. But Garrett would give the Giants a proven, offensive-minded head coach who is used to thriving in a high-pressure setting.

Look, he’s not a Super Bowl-winning coach. But he’d be a great option.

Garrett Reveals How Much Longer He Wants to Coach

Another decade in Big D? Garrett isn’t ruling it out. He’s not ruling it in, either. Pressed earlier this month during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan, the Cowboys‘ longtime coach was noncommittal on how much longer he prefers to hold the position.

“I love doing what I’m doing. I feel so fortunate to be able to do this,” Garrett said on Nov. 5, per The Athletic. “I wake up every day and I can’t get into work fast enough. I don’t look very far into how long I’m gonna do something, I just focus on today.”

The Cowboys appeared ready to part with Garrett earlier this season when they were mired in a three-game losing skid. It probably wouldn’t have happened at the Week 8 bye, but it was a no-brainer that he’d be shown the door at year’s end.

However, due in part to Dallas thoroughly whipping the rival Philadelphia Eagles on national television before the bye, combined with the Joneses’ aversion to in-season dismissals, the incumbent was welcomed back — for the long haul, potentially.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL