Monday, December 16, 2013
Jason Garrett focused on game, not future
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas – After the Dallas Cowboys' agonizing 37-36 loss to the Green Bay Packers, owner and general manager Jerry Jones would not get into coach Jason Garrett's job security but he did not want that to mean anything changed from Jones' public backing last month.
On Monday Garrett, who is 28-26 as the Cowboys head coach, was asked if Jones told him he would be safe no matter what happens in the final two games.
"I'm just focused on doing my job," Garrett said. "That's what we're focused on, everybody in the building to do our job to the best of our ability each and every day."
The Cowboys (7-7) can make the playoffs if they beat the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles to close the season, but they are in the midst of a two-game losing streak.
In November, Jones said Garrett would be his coach in 2014 no matter how the Cowboys finished. He did not want his non answer on Sunday night to be interpreted differently.
"I don't need a chance," Jones said. "I slammed that door back here, when was it, four weeks ago. That door was slammed. I don't need another chance. And y'all shouldn't ask for one every time you see me under any circumstances, whether we've had a bad practice or whether we've had, as we had today, a real disappointment. That's not accurate, that's not accurate at all.
"And we've got a lot of work to do here as you can see. We've got a real challenge ahead of us. This is a bitter, bitter disappointment to lose this game right here in our stadium, and we've got an opportunity to sweep the East by playing the Redskins and by playing the Philadelphia Eagles [in the final two weeks]. We'll start with the Redskins, and if we do we'll win the East. That was our first goal.
"Then y'all will be seeing me and asking me if I'm giving him a raise, an extension."
The Cowboys have finished 8-8 in Garrett's first two full seasons, losing a chance to make the playoffs in the final game both times with defeats on the road against the New York Giants and Redskins.
If the Cowboys beat the Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field, then they will play in their third straight de facto NFC East title. This time it would be at AT&T Stadium.
"I think if you look at our first 14 games, we did some good things with all three phases of our team and we did some good things in yesterday's game," Garrett said. "And we have to learn from that experience collectively as a team to try to get more stops on defense and try to handle the situation in the second half better on offense and we'll continue to try to do that. We're certainly optimistic about the next game. It's an opponent that we know well. We had good success against them earlier on in the year. We're not focused on two games. We're focused on just one game. We're focused on going up to Washington and playing our best football and learn from [Sunday] and build on the good and correct some of the bad and playing our best football Sunday afternoon."