ARLINGTON - It is hard to imagine a more disappointing scenario for the Dallas Cowboys than the way this season has unfolded down the stretch.
Entering 2019 with what was supposedly their most talented roster in over 20 years, the Cowboys not only lost their division crown to the Eagles but missed out on the playoffs for the sixth time in nine seasons under Jason Garrett, all due to Philly winning at New York and despite Dallas winning here, 47-16.
“I have all the respect in the world for him,'' Cowboys boss Jerry Jones said about coach Jason Garrett, adding that he doesn’t wish at this time to share what his decision is on Garrett’s future.
The phrase he created: Jerry doesn’t have a “shareable timetable” in regard to Garrett’s future
Garrett's job status notwithstanding, Dallas did come out and play very hard for their seemingly lame-duck coach on Sunday, and to their credit, they looked good doing it.
Dak Prescott completed 23-of-33 passes for 303 yards and four scores, three of which went to Michael Gallup, who also had five catches for 98 yards on seven targets. Meanwhile, Ezekiel Elliott added 122 yards and a score on the ground, with another touchdown via a pass from Prescott.
"Never before,'' Dak said, "have I been disappointed after a win.''
Even the Dallas defense, which had struggled so mightily as of late, played one of its best games of the year, forcing two turnovers, sacking Case Keenum twice, and holding the Redskins to just 271 yards of offense.
At 47-16, the game was also the largest margin of victory for the Cowboys this season, eclipsing the 37-10 defeat of the Eagles back in Week 7.
Unfortunately, with all of the excitement and unearned celebrations from the players, it was a quintessential too-little-too-late performance, against an injury-riddled team in transition, that had already mailed in the season before the game's opening kick.
After the loss, Dallas now enters its most uncertain and exciting offseason in recent memory... depending on how you look at it.
Garrett could very well be on his way out, Byron Jones, Amari Cooper, and Dak Prescott have yet to sign extensions, and multiple players including Jason Witten, Michael Bennett and Robert Quinn (among others) could be on their way out of Dallas.
With so much in flux - we know the Cowboys want to pay Prescott and Cooper and we know that after finishing 8-8, they have the No. 17 pick in the NFL draft - the next decision to be made should logically be involving the head coach.
For what it's worth, Garrett - for a decade Dallas' head coach and in many ways a Dallas lifer - said he hopes to return.
“I want to be the coach of the Dallas Cowboys,'' he said, "but we’ll see what happens.''
That said, the Cowboys have never quite been a logical franchise. Either way, whatever Jerry Jones decides to do next will define the franchise for the next few years as the most valuable franchise in the world tries to get back on its feet.