Earlier this season, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that coach Jason Garrett definitely will be back next year.
His son, Stephen, wasn’t willing to go quite that far. As to Garrett or anyone.
“We’re worried about these three games,” Stephen Jones told Albert Breer of NFL Network when asked how the balance of the regular season will determine the future of the team. “We’re not worried about the future right now. . . . All hands on deck. We’ll address the rest of it when the season is over.”
So can the words of the son be reconciled with the prior comments of the father? Jerry Jones has a habit of unconditionally and unequivocally supporting his employees until the moment he decides to fire them. Jerry Jones knows that anything other than unconditional and unequivocal support would create an unnecessary distraction.
Regardless, it’s obvious that significant changes will be made if the Cowboys once again fail to make it to the playoffs.
“There’s an unbelievable amount of urgency with where we’re at,” tight end Jason Witten told Breer. “‘Jobs on the line’ is a relative term, because it’s the NFL, that’s the world we live in. But there is a mindset of — the last couple years, coming up short — wanting to overcome that.”
The only way to overcome it is to play better.
“We have to play better,” Stephen Jones said. “All the way around, there’s room for improvement. We need to be better on offense, on special teams, and obviously we need a lot of improvement on defense. We’re 32nd there, and we gotta own that. But we’re getting players healthy — we’re probably the healthiest we’ve been — and now we have every chance to improve.”
It gets easier as of Sunday, when the Packers and backup Matt Flynn come to town. If the Cowboys can win that one, they’ll be only one game against Washington away from hosting the Third Annual NFC East Championship Game.
If the Cowboys lose that Week 17 playoff play-in game for the third straight year, change surely will be coming.