OXNARD, Calif. – Last year to open Cowboys training camp, owner Jerry Jones was asked about Jason Garrett’s job security and said it wasn’t an "Armageddon" year for the coach.
During Wednesday’s state-of-the-Cowboys address to open the 2014 camp, Jones was asked the same question. He refused to use the word "Armageddon" – "I’m superstitious," he laughed – but the message of support for Garrett was the same.
"In terms of the record of this team, this is not a make-or-break situation for Jason and members of this staff," Jones said. "We both know where our expectations are, and when it’s looking good or when it’s looking dire. I don’t expect it to be the latter."
The Cowboys are coming off three consecutive 8-8 seasons under Garrett, and while they have transformed themselves from one of the oldest teams in the NFL to one of the youngest and say rehabbed QB Tony Romo is a "full go" for Thursday’s start of workouts, this is the final year of Garrett’s contract. And Jones said repeatedly Wednesday that he expects this team to "compete right now."
‘I’m very optimistic that we have a team that can come together and compete, and compete right now," said Jones, adding, "we’re a better team, on paper, than when we lined up against Philly at the end of the season."
Of course, "on paper" promise and "in July" promises mean nothing. "Armageddon" always was a bit overdramatic.