Jason Garrett is still the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, although there are those who say that has a lot to do with the fact that the team has just three days between its loss to New England on Sunday and its game against Buffalo on Thanksgiving.
It may also have a lot to do with the fact that the Cowboys are still sitting atop the NFC East, although owner Jerry Jones didn’t seem too impressed by that following his team’s 13-9 loss to the Patriots.
“It is a significant setback for our team. We needed this win,” Jones said. " We needed to win against an opponent like this, and we haven’t had ‘em. And consequently we’re very aware of that.”
The Cowboys are 6-5 this season but have yet to beat a team with a winning record. They’ve come close though — a two-point loss to New Orleans, a four-point loss to Minnesota and now a four-point loss to the team with the best record in the NFL. Sunday’s game was played in miserable conditions, but Jones was in no mood for excuses afterward. He wanted a signature win and his team didn’t deliver.
“Make no mistake about it, this was a bigger game for us than it was for the Patriots on the win column. And we had a chance to really establish something,” Jones said. “There’s no gratification in being down to the last drive with it determining maybe the outcome of the game. That’s not the point. You can’t be satisfied with how we got out there, I don’t care if it is New England this year with their record and their coach and all that. You can’t be satisfied just because you got within the last drive to maybe go ahead.”
He added: “I’m just really frustrated. I thought we could come up here and put together a better effort in all three phases. I expected us to play well against them defensively. We got what I think we should have expected from our defense. The other phases of the game, we can’t come up here and play like that and expect to win.”
Earlier in the day, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the New York Giants “have emerged as a real and legitimate potential for Garrett,” should the Giants fire coach Pat Schurmur and the Cowboys part ways with Garrett, whose contract expires after this season. According to Rapoport, the Giants would be Garrett’s “preferred destination if he can’t stick with the Cowboys.”
It might seem odd that a coach whose team leads its division with five games remaining would be thinking that way.
But then again, he’s working for a guy who is saying things like “With the makeup of this team, I shouldn’t be this frustrated” and “I don’t think there’s a game that a coaching staff has areas that it couldn’t do better in — I just don’t like it that we’ve got so many.”
So maybe it’s good that Garrett seems to have a backup plan.