Jerry Jones: Jason Garrett to return as Cowboys coach in ’18

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett shouts in the direction of an official in the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

DALLAS (AP) Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says coach Jason Garrett will return for an eighth full season after Dallas missed the playoffs in a year marred by the six-game suspension of star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Jones said on his radio show Tuesday that Garrett’s job ”is not an issue here at all” while suggesting that there could be other changes to the coaching staff with several contracts expiring. Garrett has two years left on a five-year deal signed after Dallas won the NFC East in 2014.

”I certainly know a lot about Jason Garrett. Because of that, I can very quickly and candidly say that he’s not, his job is not an issue here at all,” Jones said.

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli signed extensions last offseason, so they are not among those with expiring contracts.

”We’ve got a lot of different contracts that are various times coming up,” Jones said. ”We’ll look at that. That doesn’t mean there will be any material changes, but we will look at it.”

The Cowboys (8-7), who finish the season Sunday at division champion Philadelphia, had an uneven start before three straight wins to get to 5-3 going into Elliott’s suspension over domestic violence allegations.

Dallas lost the first three games without Elliott before winning three straight to stay in the race. The Cowboys lost a playoff elimination game to Seattle last weekend in the return of last year’s NFL rushing leader.

Garrett has made the playoffs twice in seven seasons. He is 67-55 including the postseason and half the 2010 season, when he took over after Wade Phillips was fired. Garrett is a distant second to Tom Landry in tenure and wins.

Jones didn’t offer specifics when asked why Garrett was the right person to lead the Cowboys. He has a 1-2 playoff record, and Dallas lost its first playoff game as the top seed in the NFC last season.

The Cowboys have alternated between winning the division and missing the playoffs the past four years. In Garrett’s first three full seasons, Dallas finished 8-8, losing a season finale with a playoff spot on the line each time.

”Let’s basically not get into all the reasons why and I won’t get into all the reasons why not,” Jones said. ”Let’s just say that it’s not in the best interest of the Cowboys to be considering a coaching change.”

Garrett sidestepped a question about his future after the 21-12 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday.

”My job is to do the best job for this football team,” Garrett said. ”It was a tough loss for us today and we are going to get back to work and try to finish strong.”

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