FRISCO — The new decade will start like the previous one, with a coach the people want replaced.
After two days of meetings, Jason Garrett remains the coach of your Dallas Cowboys.
Happy New Year.
Back in 2010, Wade Phillips was running things until a 1-7 start forced Jerry Jones to move on and give Garrett a chance.
Nine years later, Garrett is still in place, at least for now, with the expectation more meetings with ownership will occur before his future is decided.
The biggest question as to why Garrett is the coach is pretty simple: Loyalty.
Jerry Jones invested not only money but time into Garrett. He hired this man before selecting Phillips as the head coach in 2007. Jones knows Garrett’s father, Jim, he approved the hire of Jason’s brother, Judd, for the scouting department and another brother, John, as a tight ends coach.
“I feel very rewarded by the almost 20 years I’ve had to work with him,” Jerry Jones said Sunday. Later Jones added, “It’s been a source of pride for me. It’s an honor to have worked with him and to be working with him.”
The more Jones talks, the case for Garrett getting his second contract extension with the club, gets stronger.
Jones disputes this by saying he just wants to be thorough. He could have told Garrett to pack up his office following Sunday’s victory over Washington. Instead, Garrett along with family and friends, did their customary photo session on the football field of AT&T Stadium. It felt like this would be the final time Garrett would spend on this field as a member of the Cowboys organization.
Monday came and Garrett held his final team meeting with Jones present. Several players said it was an emotional event not only because the season was over but the possibility of Garrett leaving for good was clear. Garrett also conducted some exit interviews like he would any other season. He then spoke with Jerry and Stephen Jones about a variety of topics and then everybody went home.
Tuesday morning, Garrett arrived at The Star and spoke to Jerry and Stephen Jones again, sources said.
By midday, some assistant coaches were headed home with their work done and Garrett still in place as the head coach.
One assistant coach said he didn’t know what was going on.
It seemed a perplexing Tuesday afternoon was normal for the Cowboys.
Outsiders love to say the Cowboys are a dysfunctional organization. Have you checked out what Cleveland has done? Washington? Maybe the New York Jets?
The Cowboys are a well-oiled machine compared to them. But one thing the Cowboys, especially the Jones family, have become is loyal. They will give people second and third chances to prove themselves. Jerry Jones maybe to a fault is too loyal.
On Monday and Tuesday Jones displayed loyalty and compassion to a man he knows must go.
“Jason Garrett has been a long-term, very important, pleasant part of my life, certainly in sport and in football,” Jerry Jones said. “By and through him being a player here, by and through what he’s been as a coach, what he’s been as a working associate. He’s just got a great place for me and that’s if he’s coaching 10 more years for the Cowboys or if he’s not. He’s done that. We’ve had that kind of life together and it’s great.”
Jerry Jones adores Garrett. It’s something that should be taken into account when this whole thing ends. Jones was not going to dump Garrett Sunday night after beating Washington. He was going to give Garrett a chance to speak to a group of players who became men under him. Jones wasn’t going to do it Monday or Tuesday after meeting with him privately.
Jones wanted to make sure he gave Garrett every chance to make his case to stay. Jones believes Garrett will get another job somewhere, New York Football Giants anyone? Before he departs, the Cowboys organization will do right by a guy they groomed to become the head coach.
So as we start a new year and a new decade, the wait continues for Jones to finally tap Garrett on the shoulder and tell him to move on.
If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, maybe patience should be on the list because that’s what the Cowboys have been doing for about nine years with Garrett.
And now that patience is about to run out.