Cowboys’ silence on Black Monday speaks volumes about team’s future
IRVING, Texas — Everywhere you turned on Black Monday an NFL coach was losing his job — from the one-and-done guy in Cleveland to a two-time Super Bowl winner in DC.
Not so in Dallas.
Not only did Cowboys coach Jason Garrett keep his job despite a third consecutive 8-8, no-playoff, Week 17-disaster season, but he was noncommittal about making any changes in personnel and even the coaching staff.
He said he would start that evaluation on Tuesday. The feeling at Valley Ranch is that if anybody gets fired, it will be defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. The Cowboys were historically bad defensively in Kiffin’s first season.
Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan appears to be on somewhat more solid ground despite suspect play calling that followed him through the season, ending in the loss against the Eagles.
Changes to personnel will be coming as well, with former All-Pro linebacker DeMarcus Ware unlikely to return because of his sliding production and bloated salary. Free-agent defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said he will pursue the biggest dollar sign he can find, which, given the Cowboys’ cap space, will not be in Dallas.
And maybe, ultimately what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decided was there was no coaching change capable of offsetting the real problems facing his team: It is an estimated $31 million over the salary cap next season, has a franchise quarterback coming off two back surgeries in eight months and is built around an aging core whose window is closing.