Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a public declaration in support of coach Jason Garrett after the team’s crushing loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving, but behind the scenes it is reportedly a much different story for the beleaguered head coach.
After making statements earlier in the week signaling that Garrett’s job was in jeopardy, Jones changed his tune following the team’s 26-15 loss to the Bills on Thursday. Jones made it clear that Garrett wasn’t in any immediate danger of losing his job despite the team losing for the sixth time in nine games and falling back to 0.500 after a 3-0 start to the year.
“This is not the time for me [to make a coaching change],” a tearful Jones said after the game, via ESPN. “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.”
Garrett still seems to have the team in his corner, with quarterback Dak Prescott saying after the game that he and his teammates still have confidence in Garrett. Prescott put the blame on the players, saying it was lack of execution that led to the team’s loss on Thanksgiving, adding that Garrett has helped to keep the energy high in the locker room.
But sources close to the team say that Garrett’s job is as good as lost. NBC Sports radio host Newy Scruggs reported on Twitter that Jones and the Cowboys were “done” with Garrett despite the public statement of support, noting that the team is assured to have a new coach in 2020. Garrett’s contract is up at the end of the season, though has faced down a similar situation in 2014 when he led the team to a 12-4 record and a division title, saving his job after two seasons of mediocrity.
Others noted that it will take a long playoff run — and possibly nothing short of a Super Bowl victory — to save Garrett’s job.
There is still plenty of work ahead for Garrett and the 6-6 Cowboys, who will still lead the NFC East after the week is over despite what happens to the 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys travel to Chicago to take on the 6-6 Chicago Bears next week.