Each of Jason Garrett’s three full seasons as head coach of the Cowboys has ended the same way: The Cowboys went into Week 17 with an 8-7 record, needing to win their final game to win the NFC East, and instead lost and fell to 8-8, finishing out of the playoffs.
Garrett knows that’s not good enough. But he also told reporters today that he believes the way his team played hard in Sunday night’s loss to the Eagles should be a source of pride.
“We understand it’s a bottom line business and we did not get the job done,” Garrett said. “There’s a lot to be proud of with this football team, a lot to be proud of the performance last night.”
Now the Cowboys turn their attention to the future. Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones says he remains committed to Garrett, although it seems highly likely that major changes will be coming to Garrett’s coaching staff. Garrett said it would be premature to talk about the future of his staff, although defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s job security would certainly seem to be in doubt, considering that Garrett emphasized that the Cowboys’ defense has to get better.
“We have to play better on defense, there’s no question about that,” Garrett said.
Ultimately, Garrett knows that no matter how proud of his team he is, his team fell short of its goal.
“We’ve done that the last three years, we played the last game of the season for the NFC East and we didn’t get the job done,” Garrett said. “And we all have to live with that.”
Fortunately for Garrett, Jones is going to let him live with that for one more season in Dallas.