Jason Garrett, coaching in the final year of his contract, is in the midst of the ultimate win-or-else season, and the Dallas Cowboys aren't winning. The Cowboys stand at 6-6 after two high-profile losses in the past five days -- at New England on Sunday evening, and at home to Buffalo on Thursday.
A lot could be written about the situation in Dallas, but the best shorthand is this: Six coaches have been in their jobs as long as Garrett; all six have been to at least one Super Bowl, except Garrett, who has yet to advance as far as the NFC championship game.
Yet, as disappointing as Dallas' season has been, the Cowboys will still wake up Friday morning in first place in the NFC East. That predicament has put Jerry Jones' impatience in direct conflict with his optimism, and his optimism will win out, at least for now.
Jerry has spent the past quarter century in a desperate search to win a Super Bowl without Jimmy Johnson -- and, thus, forever validate himself as a Football Man once and for all -- and Garrett, a former Cowboys backup quarterback and hand-picked by Jones to be the Cowboys' offensive coordinator back in 2007 before Wade Phillips was even hired to be the team's head coach, is essentially the third Jones son (Jerry's two actual sons run the Cowboys' player personnel and marketing departments).
But, the fact that the team owner has to come out and say he's not going to fire his expiring-contract coach right now says all that needs to be said about the coach's long-term prospects.
Still, Jerry is going to give Jason every chance to pull this season out of the ditch. If and when that doesn't happen, all bets are off.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.