No one expects Jason Garrett, whose contract officially expires in 10 days, to coach the Cowboys in 2020. But no one expected him to still be the coach of the Cowboys six days after the team’s season concluded.
And yet he is. As noted by Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the long farewell continues between the Cowboys and Garrett, who became head coach during the 2010 season after the firing of Wade Phillips. If the goal, as suggested by Ed Werder of ESPN on Thursday, is to demonstrate and “abundance of care and respect” to Garrett, the paralysis (or whatever it is that’s causing this thing to linger) at some point becomes careless and disrespectful.
Arguably, that point already has come.
The question now becomes whether the news comes during the first weekend of the playoffs. On Friday’s PFT Live, Big Cat suggested that Jerry Jones will try to bigfoot the playoffs by making the announcement not long before the Bills face the Texans on Saturday afternoon. (My guess is Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET, to take attention away from the playoff game between the Seahawks and the Eagles, the one in which the Cowboys should be playing.)
Whenever it happens, the news will dominate anything and everything else in the NFL. Some think this is being drawn out simply to create more attention for the Cowboys, to get people talking and writing and thinking about their intentions and plans for Garrett before talking and writing and thinking about who their next coach will be.
Chances are the Cowboys already know who their next coach will be, or at least who the small universe of candidates will be. Few owners fire their current coach without having a pretty good idea as to who the replacement will be.
In this case, some think Jones is waiting for someone who is still coaching. Possibly, someone who is coaching this weekend — and who as of Monday morning may be available to be interviewed and/or hired (and/or traded for).
Regardless, the Cowboys have found a way to take a fairly simple situation that plays out in a fairly straightforward way multiple times per year each and every year and to turn it into something we’ve never seen before. In so doing, the Cowboys have been the NFL’s most talked-about team of the week, even though they aren’t officially looking for a coach or getting ready to play a postseason game.