With Cowboys owner Jerry Jones retaining Jason Garrett for the 2014 season, it means the head coach enters the final year of his contract.
Garrett hasn't asked for a contract extension, but it's clear he will coach in 2014, the final year of his deal, without one. Of course, if the Cowboys start 2014 off well, he could get an extension.
Jones has given previous head coaches contract extensions in the past, most recently Wade Phillips, who was eventually fired in the middle of the 2010 season.
But Jones doesn't believe having a coach in a lame duck status is a bad thing.
"I think players, because they're professional, just by the nature of them playing in the NFL, I think they understand with or without a contract you can lose your job, if you don't get the job done," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan this past week. "We probably had several coaches that were still under contract for some more years and they lost their job. So I don't think that [not] having a contract [extension] has been a deterrent, many times, at least my observations, when teams do make sweeping changes as you present [the] head coach."
One main reason for a contract extension is to show the players and assistant coaches there is support from the front office for the head coach. Last year, Jones fired Garrett's defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, and took the play-calling duties from Garrett, handing things over to Bill Callahan.
The moves seemed to take power away from Garrett.
Garrett said he was OK with the moves because he'd coached with Monte Kiffin in the past in Tampa Bay and had a tremendous amount of respect for Callahan. And the Cowboys were still running Garrett's timing-based offense anyway, so it allowed Garrett to become more of a walk-around head coach.
But given the status of the franchise, four consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance, it could be time to make a change at head coach.
Jones, of course, doesn't believe so, and yet he won't give Garrett another year of security.
So Garrett enters 2014 on the hot seat more than ever before.