The Dallas Cowboys have been to the playoffs twice in Jason Garrett’s seven full years as head coach, and fell in the divisional round each time.
They also won’t be snapping a decade-long drought of consecutive playoff appearances this season as the Cowboys were officially eliminated from postseason contention with a 21-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Christmas Eve.
While fans may want to see a coaching change, owner Jerry Jones sees no reason to part ways with Garrett.
“I do understand frustration right after you lose a game that has such meaningfulness as this ball game,” Jones said. “But I get to look at a lot of different things and have been around a lot of head coaches and coordinators, so I feel good about our head coach.”
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The players haven’t lost faith in Garrett or the staff, either.
“I love coach Garrett,” defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said. “I’m not commenting on anything like that because it’s way above me. ... I love this team, I love everything that we’ve got going and I just think we just didn’t get the job done a couple times this year. It’s unfortunate.
“It’s unfortunate that things are being said about different people, but that’s the NFL and hopefully everything works itself out for the best of everybody.”
Garrett has a career record of 66-53 since replacing Wade Phillips in the middle of the 2010 season, and is signed for the next two seasons at $6 million a year. Jones handed Garrett a five-year, $30 million extension after the 2014 season.
If the Cowboys lose next week at Philadelphia, they’ll have finished 8-8 four times in Garrett’s seven full seasons.
Asked if Sunday’s game would affect his future, Garrett said: “My job is to do the best job for this football team. It was a tough loss for us today and we are going to get back to work and try to finish strong.”
This year has been marked by inconsistency throughout. The Cowboys scored 28 or more points in six of their first eight games, but had a stretch of offensive futility in the first three games without running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The Cowboys failed to score double-digit points in a three-game stretch for the first time in franchise history.
They responded by winning three straight before Sunday’s loss.
Sunday marked the fourth time this season the Cowboys have blown a halftime lead. Jones acknowledged concern with that troubling trend.
“I am concerned because what counts is where you are at the end of the game,” Jones said. “But we’ve got to do as we should be doing and that’s take a look at why we weren’t able to today use what we were getting done with Zeke — the way we were really, what I thought, powering the football early.
“We’ll take a look and see how we could have maintained that or why off of that we couldn’t do some better job of throwing the ball.”
Again, though, Jones expressed no interest in conducting another coaching search. He’s had seven head coaches work for him since he bought the team in 1989.
Jones may second-guess some of the play calls by Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan — such as not running Elliott on a first-and-goal from the 3 — but those decisions aren’t grounds to fire Garrett.
“We certainly will look at this game. We played a team that’s got a good chance to be in the playoffs out there, and we have a lot of time to think about it when that’s not us in there,” Jones said. “Believe me, we’ll be second-guessing some play calls for sure. But that’s not really what happened out there today. We played a good team. We let them hang in there way too long. And as good teams do, they got inspired by some turnovers and there we go.”
Jones added that he’s excited about what the future could hold for the Cowboys. All signs point to that future including Garrett.
“I’m excited about our future with Dak [Prescott] at quarterback,” Jones said. “I’m extremely excited about our future. There’s no qualms or no issues if you’re talking about any place else relative to anything to do with the coaching — within certain boundaries, but specifically at the top. We’ve just got to get it done better.”