Black Monday came and went, and Jason Garrett remains employed by the Dallas Cowboys.
There has been, and will be, no decision on Garrett’s future as the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach, at least until Tuesday. The embattled 53-year-old held his exit interview with owner Jerry Jones and VP Stephen Jones — originally scheduled for noon — late Monday afternoon, after both Garrett and Jerry addressed the players.
Local Cowboys media, camped out at The Star, was shooed from the facility because no announcement on Garrett was forthcoming.
The hold-up apparently stems from Garrett’s exit interviews with team personnel, standard end-of-season protocol. One Cowboys player told Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News he was unable to meet with Garrett on Monday since there was “too long a line.” The player is expected to visit the soon-to-be-former (?) head man on Tuesday.
The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore reports Garrett and the Joneses are scheduled to speak again following the exit interviews. And it’s essentially a formality.
“Jason Garrett’s meeting with the Jones family is concluded. Cowboys have nothing scheduled for today at The Star. Don’t read anything into this delay. It doesn’t change the inevitable. It’s still a matter of when, not if,” Moore tweeted.
Jerry Jones claimed after Sunday’s season-ending victory over the Redskins that while he envisions making wholesale changes, there’s “no door shut here tonight” and no “sharable timeline” in mind regarding Garrett’s fate.
“What I wouldn’t do, in anything I’m saying here tonight, is shut any door,” Jones said, via Pro Football Talk. “I really want to make sure I’m clear about that and communicate that: There’s no door shut here tonight. None, anywhere, is shut. This is not what that is about shutting a door of an individual. I’m not doing that here.”
All indications still point to Garrett’s dismissal as the last days of his current contract, which officially expires Jan. 14, tick away.
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Garrett’s Final Message to Cowboys Players, Coaches Revealed
The writing is plastered all over the walls at The Star, underlined thrice in red Sharpie. Garrett, by all accounts, has coached his last game for Dallas, and he’s simply waiting to seal his fate with the higher-ups.
Garrett wore resignation on his face during Sunday’s domination of Washington. He knew what was about to come, what had been in the works for months. Now, he’s talking like it, too.
The longtime HC addressed Cowboys players and assistant coaches on Monday as the organization gathered on what’s commonly known as Garbage Bag Day for non-playoff teams.
Per NFL Network’s Jane Slater, Garrett spoke as if he’s been pink-slipped, even though a formal call was not yet reached.
“Garrett told players things like “I’m proud of you guys” “I appreciate everything you guys have done for me”. I was told “it felt like goodbye without saying goodbye” still no word on his current meeting w Joneses,” Slater tweeted.
WFAA’s Mike Leslie claimed in a Monday afternoon tweet the Cowboys fired their entire coaching staff — a tweet that he soon backtracked on. It was a jumped-gun report disputed by multiple reporters, including Slater, who passed along Garrett’s message to his cohorts.
“Multiple sources tell me Jason Garrett met w coaches/assistants today & addressed those with expiring contracts. He told them, “as you well know you can look for work elsewhere” & this would be “sorted out in the 24-48 hours”. Jerry Jones hasn’t informed anyone they’re fired yet,” Slater tweeted.
There are others on Garrett’s staff whose deals are up and whose futures equally as murky: Defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard, running backs coach Gary Brown, tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier, and safeties coach Greg Jackson.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that Richard will interview for the New York Giants’ head-coaching vacancy on Thursday. The Giants are also interested in Baylor coach Matt Rhule, who’s said to be among the early front-runners for the Dallas job, as well.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL