Jones Has Harsh Words After Loss; Will Garrett Survive In Dallas?
Jones Frustrated After Dallas’ Loss Against The Patriots
A Philadelphia Eagles‘ loss earlier in the day meant the 6-4 Dallas Cowboys had one of the biggest opportunities of their season in a late afternoon contest against the New England Patriots on Sunday. With a win, not only would they move to 7-4 and gain a two-win advantage over 5-6 Philly, but they would finally earn the validation of beating one the NFL’s best teams on their own field.
In the end, a wet, sloppy game in Foxborough came down to one final drive for the Cowboys after getting the ball back with 2:38 on the clock and a four-point deficit.
As the Dallas offense was driving, quarterback Dak Prescott appeared to pick up a first down on a 3rd-and-1 conversion to Ezekiel Elliott, but a phantom tripping call – the second of the game – pushed the Cowboys back to a 3rd-and-11. That yardage was insurmountable, and the Patriots came out victorious in the 13-9 contest.
A Lost Opportunity
The opportunity was grand, and it wasn’t lost on Dallas owner Jerry Jones.
Of the contest itself, Jones said:
“Make no mistake about it, this was a bigger game (for the Cowboys) than it was for the Patriots on the win column. I don’t care if it is New England with their record and their coach and all that. You can’t be satisfied just because you got within the last drive. I’m just really frustrated.”
Yet Jones’ message regarding the coaching job of Jason Garrett was even harsher.
Jones Not Mincing Words About Garrett’s Coaching Performance
An argument could be made that New England and Dallas were perfectly even teams on Sunday afternoon if not for the blocked punt that set the Patriots up for the lone touchdown of the game. Dallas also struggled to field kickoffs, nearly turning the ball over on an otherwise routine play.
The overall performance of the third unit was a source of irritation for Jones, who said, “Special teams is totally a reflection of coaching.”
Another indirect indictment of Garrett came when Jones said, “With the makeup of this team, I shouldn’t be this frustrated.”
Jones continued with the frustration theme, noting, “This is very frustrating. It’s frustrating just to be reminded that some of the fundamentals of football and coaching were what beat us out there today.”
And perhaps the most threatening quote of the day for Garrett was one in which Jones was complimentary of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, saying, “They’ve got a coach who knows how to play this game and did a good job of that, and my hat’s off to him.”
With Jones clearly upset with his head coach and not making any effort to hide it, how long can Garrett survive in Dallas?
Has Clock Struck Midnight For Garrett?
The Dallas Cowboys now find themselves with a record of 6-5, just one game in front of the Eagles for the NFC East lead. The big issue for Garrett and the Cowboys is that, while they still have to play the Bills, Bears, Rams, and Eagles – Philadelphia has the easiest remaining schedule among all NFL teams.
The Cowboys’ season could very well come down to a Week 16 showdown with Philly, and that could be where Garrett’s tenure in Big D ends.
At this point, the Cowboys are still favorite to win the division with odds of -180, but the Eagles are right behind them at +120.
Only An NFC Champioship Game Could Save Garrett
However, even a division crown and trip to the NFL playoffs likely wouldn’t be enough for Garrett to keep his job. With Jones having made his thoughts clear about Dallas’ championship-level roster, a playoff victory isn’t likely to save the head coach, either.
At this point, the feeling surrounding the Cowboys is that Garrett would need a trip to the NFC Championship Game to have a chance to return as head coach in Dallas, but even that isn’t a guarantee.
So, while a midseason firing of Garrett isn’t expected, it’s looking more and more likely that this is Garrett’s final season in charge of the Cowboys.