Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declined to comment on the job status of his coordinators — Bill Callahan and Monte Kiffin — but he did say there would be fewer changes on the coaching staff than last year.
Last year, the Cowboys replaced defensive coordinator Rob Ryan with Kiffin, promoted Callahan to play-caller and made several assistant coaching changes, including hiring Rod Marinelli as defensive line coach.
“Well, I’m pleased that we have them,” Jones said on his weekly radio show on KRLD FM. “I know that when we got them, I’ve never had as many talk about well you have really upgraded, or you have really not upgraded, but you have really added a plus to your coaching staff. Now, we had a rough year, but we didn’t necessarily have a rough year because of coaching in terms of our defense. So all of that will be considered as we look ahead.
“I haven’t really sat down and discussed it, looked at it and I don’t know how much thought Jason [Garrett] has given to it here in this latter part of this season. But ... there’s no hurry on that.”
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Jones said Callahan and Kiffin remain under contract.
“I think this: I think you’ve got to assume that their contract status is [their status] until we do differently,” Jones said. “Those guys you just mentioned are still under contract. There are others that are under contract. There are others that are not. The real world is since I haven’t, we haven’t, addressed this thing is whatever their contract status is, and I don’t want to get into what that status is, but whatever it is, it is.”
Callahan, who was hired before the 2012 season, took over play-calling duties from Garrett this season. The Cowboys ranked 16th in total offense, and their 5,461 yards were the fewest by the franchise since 2005.
Kiffin was hired during the off-season to change the Cowboys from the 3-4 to the Tampa 2. Injuries forced the Cowboys to play 19 defensive linemen; middle linebacker Sean Lee missed five games; and cornerback Morris Claiborne missed six.
The Cowboys gave up the most yards, most passing yards and most first downs in team history. They finished last in the league in total defense.
The 6,645 total yards the Cowboys allowed was the third-most in NFL history behind only the 2012 New Orleans Saints (7,042) and the 1981 Baltimore Colts (6,793). The 388 total first downs allowed ranks second-worst all time behind only the 406 that the ’81 Colts allowed.
Jones also said he made the decision to retain Garrett “several weeks ago.”
“I didn’t make that decision yesterday. I made that decision several weeks ago. What is important here is that I haven’t given it a consideration. What happened was I was answering questions, ‘Was I going to keep him?’ several weeks ago, and I answered, ‘Yes,’ then. Yes, we are going forward.”
Asked how he justified that decision, Jones said the Cowboys have been “in it.”
“We have been in it the last three years,” he said. “Of course, Jason has been on this staff going on seven years. We have been in it during his time as head coach. We have been in it right there, playing for it in the last game the last three years. I’m in complete step with our fans that want more than 8-8.
“All you have to do is win a couple more.”