'No In-Season Coaching Changes,' Says Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, But

Mike Fisher
November 06, 2018 - 6:48 am
Jason Garrett, Jerry Jones

© Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN)  - Following a nationally-televised 28-14 home loss to the Tennessee Titans in which his Dallas Cowboys looked equal parts anemic and inept and out of gas, owner Jerry Jones was asked if there is any situation he could envision in which he would make an in-season change at head coach.

"No,'' Jones said emphatically.

When a media member pressed for specifics regarding head coach Jason Garrett or offensive coodinator Scott Linehan or any other angle, Jones interrupted.

"No,'' Jones reiterated. "I just gave you a great big 'no.'''

A Cowboys observer can take Jones' response as being as set in stone as one wishes. But tolerance levels have their limits, and Dallas being at 3-5 after a) losing a post-bye home game to a mediocre foe, b) doing so after the team already made a coaching staff change and engineered a costly blockbuster trade and c) knowing that the next two games are ominous trips to Philadelphia and Atlanta might just test those limits.

A number of media outlets are already taking Jones' remarks as meaning "Dallas won't make more changes.'' But that wasn't the question and that wasn't the answer and in these situations, what obligation are owners under to tell unvarnished truths, anyway?

When Jones was asked how "patient'' he can afford to be given the dire playoff-chase-related circumstances, he fudged a bit.

"I really don’t know without being trite,'' he said. "I don’t know how to articulate my patience or lack thereof and -- and I’m not trying to be smart -- I just don’t have an assessment of my patience right now."

Jones is surely bewildered as to how the Cowboys defense could force two early fumbles from Titans QB Marcus Mariota and his team fail to capitalize, how the trade acquisition Amari Cooper could look so good (five catches for 58 yards and a TD) while the Ezekiel Elliott-led run game could look so bad (17 carries for 61 yards).

The Cowboys missed a field goal. The Cowboys QB Dak Prescott missed opportunities. The Cowboys tried to talk in the locker room about how they remain in the NFC East race, but afterward mumbled about how they could collectively play so poorly in such a must-win -- and winnable -- game.

No disrespect to anyone who wants to make an issue of Titans safety

Kevin Byard celebrating on the star, Terrell Owens-style. (Contrary to an ESPN report, Dallas' Byron Jones charged Byard and knocked him off the star, George Teague-style.) No disrespect to anyone who thinks the story of the night was the AT&T Stadium presence of the retired Jason Witten, working in the booth for ESPN. But those are sidebar issues compared to what truly stares Jones' Cowboys in the face.

And Garrett's post-game summation -- I swear to God he actually said, "I thought we did some good things in this game, really, in all three phases'' -- seems like more than a stare in the face. To passionate Cowboys fans, it must seem like a slap in the face.

So, no changes? Last week's firing of the maybe-innocuous offensive line coach Paul Alexander is as far as this organization wishes to go? Dear Reader, I've been writing in this space and saying on 105.3 The Fan since last April that a failed 2018 means Jason Garrett is "Dead Man Walking.'' And I've continued to say so even while opposed by contrary reports insisting that a contract extension is on the horizon. I'm going to go ahead and stand by my story.

"Again, I don't want to go down the list,'' Jerry said to the media late into the Monday night. "I'm not anticipating any more coaching changes.''

And, again ... "Not anticipating'' doesn't mean it can't ever happen. "Not envisioning'' doesn't mean it can't ever be seen.