Jason Garrett might have coached his final game with the Cowboys. He seemed uncertain after Sunday’s victory over Washington, which saw the Cowboys end the season with a disappointing 8-8 record.
“I have no idea,” Garrett answered when asked if he expected to return. “. . .I want to be the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. We will see what happens.”
Jerry Jones sounded as if he doesn’t know either. Or maybe he just wasn’t saying in his postgame press conference.
The Cowboys owner talked for 29 minutes, 23 seconds and said nothing.
Jones initially said he sees significant changes going forward, answering, “I do. I do. I make changes, and I certainly can see myself making a lot of changes in a lot of areas. Just the times call for that. I am about change. I change a lot.”
Later, Jones said he would not shut the door on anything when asked whether he was leaving the door open for Garrett’s return.
“Well, I don’t know if I would look at it like that. What I wouldn’t do, in anything I’m saying here tonight, is shut any door,” Jones said. “I really want to make sure I’m clear about that and communicate that: There’s no door shut here tonight. None, anywhere, is shut. This is not what that is about shutting a door of an individual. I’m not doing that here.”
More than once, Jones implied he might not have a decision to make, prompting Ed Werder of ESPN to remind Jones that the Cowboys chose not to extend Garrett’s contract beyond this season.
“That is a fact. I did do that. Yes,” Jones said.
So, with Garrett’s contract expiring at the end of the league year, Jones has a decision. One way or the other. It’s either made already . . . or it isn’t.
“This is a difficult time, a very difficult time,” Jones said. “We’ve got a lot to consider here. I do. It’s well known. There is no question that Jason has been pleasant part of my life. It’s certainly more than football — from being a player here, what he has meant as a coach, what he has meant as a working associate. He has just got a place for me. That is that. If he’s coaching for the Cowboys or if he has not, he has done that. We have had that kind of life together.”
Garrett appears, and has appeared for a while, unlikely to return. He went 85-67 in 9 1/2 seasons with four 8-8 finishes, three playoff berths and two playoff victories.