The Cowboys don’t have to make the playoffs for Jason Garrett to save his job, owner Jerry Jones said Saturday.
Jones refuted the growing perception that this is a make-or-break year for Garrett during his annual “State of the Team” address prior to the start of training camp in Oxnard, Calif.
“It’s a mistake to think that,” Jones said in comments published by The Dallas Morning News. “That’s not right.”
Garrett is 21-19 overall as a head coach and was 8-8 in both of his full seasons in charge. Yet Jones said it’s how Garrett has dealt with the disappointment of previous seasons that impresses him.
“If you’re in close here, you see how Jason is responding to obviously unsatisfactory times,” Jones said. “And I can tell you firsthand, that’s impressive. I like that, as far as looking ahead to the future. It is very good.”
Garrett’s future could be gauged by his contract status. After this season, he will have one year remaining on his contract. That’s usually the time coaches have their deals extended.
“Everything I’m thinking about is not only about how to beat the Giants when we open up, but also what our future is in a plus manner or a positive way, with Jason,” Jones said. “I look to the future with Jason. And not just through his contract that we’re sitting here with right now. He’s got a couple of years left on his contract. That’s not a thought.”
Still, it’s hard to imagine Garrett not being judged on the progress, or lack of it, of the team in Year Three of his plan to reshape the team. Jones may be optimistic about the Cowboys’ future under Garrett, but name an owner that isn’t in July.