Jerry Jones provides unequivocal and unconditional support to his employees until he no longer supports them. We’ve seen it before, and we’re seeing it again, with head coach Jason Garrett.
On Thursday, Jones said that Garrett will be back as the head coach in 2014.
It wouldn’t be the first time Jones says one thing and eventually does another. In 2010, Jones said that former head coach Wade Phillips wouldn’t be fired during the season.
“I would never consider doing that during the season,” Jones said.
And then Jones fired Phillips during the season.
The owner’s current goal is obvious. As the Cowboys try to get to the playoffs and advance a level or two (or more), Jones doesn’t want Garrett’s status to be a potential distraction or source of added stress. But if they ultimately don’t get to the playoffs, Jones can then change his mind, as he has done in the past.
And if Jones wants anyone to believe that Garrett will be back next year, here’s what Jones needs to do: Extend Garrett’s contract. Currently signed through 2014, Garrett likely will get either an extension or fired after the season, to avoid the distraction of being a lame duck. If Jones already has decided to commit to Garrett for next year, why not go ahead and commit to him contractually for 2015 or beyond?
Jones won’t, because Jones reserves the right to change his mind if the Cowboys don’t get to the playoff — or perhaps if they win the NFC Least and lose in the wild-card round at home.