Cowboys coaches on notice in 2014

January, 31, 2014
Jan 31
1:25
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- How much is 2014 a win-or-else year for the Dallas Cowboys?

Their top three coaches are on one-year deals.

Garrett
Garrett
This is the final year of Jason Garrett’s contract as head coach. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli arrived with a two-year deal last season. And new passing game coordinator Scott Linehan joined the Cowboys this week on a one-year deal.

I’m with Jerry Jones on the lame-duck status. Others might believe Jason Garrett should get an extension heading into the season, but not me. That makes an assumption that if a coach had two years left on his deal, then the players will listen more.

Quibble with Garrett’s gameday management, how he called a game offensively or anything else, but he has the players' ears. They have not quit on him. They listen to him. They don’t execute enough obviously, but they are not tuning him out.

We like to talk about players having to earn their way and how well they tend to perform better in a contract year. Is it a coincidence that Jason Hatcher had a career-high 11 sacks in the final year of his contract? Or that Anthony Spencer had a career-high 11 in 2012 in the final year of his deal?

Knowing your long-term future is dependent on how well you do in a contract year is a great motivator.

It appears Jones is hoping that will help the Cowboys get out of this 8-8 rut.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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