Jerry Jones has supported Jason Garrett throughout the season, but if the Cowboys miss the playoffs again this year, many expect Garrett will be gone next season. (Gus Ruelas/AP)
Jerry Jones reiterated his support of head coach Jason Garrett last week, in the wake of the Cowboys' horrendous collapse against the Green Bay Packers. Dallas' owner also has publicly backed oft-criticized defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
However, Jones may privately be planning to wipe the slate clean if the Cowboys cannot rally in Weeks 16 and 17 to claim the NFC East.
ESPN's Ed Werder tweeted Sunday: "Source says current expectation is Jerry Jones will fire HC Jason Garrett and coaching staff unless the Cowboys win NFC East, make playoffs."
In reality, that revelation comes as little surprise -- Garrett has been considered "on the hot seat" since at least last season. The Cowboys have finished 8-8 in each of Garrett's first two full years at the helm, losing a Week 17 game to cough up the division both times. They host Philadelphia in the upcoming Week 17, and if the Cowboys can beat Washington Sunday, that will be another winner-take-all affair.
"By the way, Garrett will coach that game against the Redskins, so book that and write about that," Jones told reporters after his team's 37-36 loss last Sunday, according to The Dallas Morning News. "He’ll coach that ballgame we’ve got coming up and as far as I can see in the future be coaching games for the Cowboys."
Jones also said that he did not need to answer questions about Garrett's future because, "I slammed that door back here, when was it, four weeks ago. That door was slammed. I don’t need another chance. And y’all shouldn’t ask for one every time you see me under any circumstances, whether we’ve had a bad practice or whether we’ve had, as we had today, a real disappointment."
Earlier in December, Jones offered a similar vote of confidence to his defensive coaches: "To fix what we're doing, there’s nobody I’d rather have than [Kiffin] and [defensive line coach] Rod Marinelli." The Cowboys currently rank dead last in passing yards allowed and total yards allowed.
Garrett's current contract runs through the 2014 season. He received that deal prior to the 2011 campaign, after Jones removed the interim tag Garrett had inherited in taking over for a fired Wade Phillips during a 6-10 2010.