Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has stated publicly that head coach Jason Garrett will return next season.
However, as Cowboys insider Ed Werder points out, that hardly makes it a guarantee.
Jones had previously stated publicly that former wide receiver Terrell Owens would return to the team following the 2008 season, before releasing months later, which Werder mentioned via Twitter on Monday.
Dallas was eliminated from playoff contention following Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, which will likely lead to Garrett facing questions about his job status with the team.
Werder also believes Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott’s 6-game suspension for an alleged domestic violence incident is likely to shape Jones’ perspective on the season.
The owner may believe his team would have made the playoffs had Elliott been allowed to play the entire season, according to the insider.
Former Cowboys quarterback and current FOX Sports broadcaster Troy Aikman criticized his former team’s coaching staff after Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks, including Garrett, who served as his backup quarterback for several years during his playing career.
Aikman questioned Dallas’ decision not to run the ball with Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott while trailing by 9 points with less than 8 minutes remaining on the opposing 5-yard line during first or second down.
“To be inside the 5-yard line and not give the ball to Zeke [on] first or second down, that’s going to be questioned,” Aikman said according to Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News. “When you’ve got Ezekiel Elliott … and you don’t give him the ball in a critical situation, it’s hard to justify.”
Elliott returned from his suspension on Sunday night, recorded 28 rushing attempts during the game, but wasn’t utilized during the Cowboys’ critical possession late.
The second-year back converted on 4 of 8 rushing attempts for touchdowns from inside the 5-yard line prior to Sunday’s game.
Garrett is in his seventh year as the Cowboys’ head coach and has been on and off the hot seat throughout his career, having only made the playoffs twice in that span.