Jerry Jones has all but admitted that Jason Garrett needs to finish the season strong in order to return as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys next year, but apparently merely reaching the playoffs or even making a deep postseason run would not be enough.
The Cowboys need to win the Super Bowl for Garrett to earn a contract extension, sources told Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report. The belief is that Jones is ready to make a head coaching change due to the underachievement of the team of the past few seasons, and the new hire would likely be a flashy one.
According to Freeman, Urban Meyer and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are the two names at the top of Jones’ list. Sean Payton has also been mentioned as a possibility, though it seems unlikely that he would leave the New Orleans Saints after he recently signed a massive extension.
Jones has defended Garrett publicly on numerous occasions in the past, but he was highly critical of him and the Cowboys’ coaching staff following Sunday’s loss to the Patriots. Garrett is clearly coaching for his job down the stretch, and Jones said in an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” Wednesday that he will continue to support his head coach but needs to see results.
“The bottom line is we get graded. I’m in business. I don’t have to win the Super Bowl in business every year. I can come in sixth and have a hell of a year. But in this case, you’ve got to come in first,” Jones said. “You’ve got to come in first. So fundamentally, you’ve asked for something that’s a very narrow window to begin with. I want Jason to get it done.”
Garrett’s response to questions about the criticism from Jones may not have said a whole lot, but he is smart enough to understand the situation. The Cowboys have a talented roster that they have dumped a lot of money into, and Dak Prescott is having an MVP-caliber season. They made some embarrassing coaching blunders against New England, and that reflects poorly on Garrett.
It would be hard to imagine the Cowboys moving on from Garrett if they reach the Super Bowl or even the NFC Championship Game, but that could depend upon the availability of other candidates. If Jones has his sights set on someone like Meyer and Meyer is interested, it may be championship or bust for Garrett.