What's at stake?

Despite what Jerry Jones says, is Jason Garrett coaching for his job in the next three weeks?

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    74%
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(Total votes: 3,544)

YES
NO

Garrett will be held accountable

Watkins By Calvin Watkins
ESPNDallas.com
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It's hard to believe that Jason Garrett will coach the Dallas Cowboys in 2014 if he fails to make the postseason. Again.

That would make four consecutive seasons that Garrett hasn't done what's necessary. He's a good person and a good coach, but the end result needs to be the Cowboys reaching the postseason on a regular basis.

If he doesn't do it again, he's gone.

At least he should be.

Yes, Jerry Jones said Garrett will be his coach in 2014, but we've heard Jones give out confidence-building remarks before when it comes to players and coaches.

He said he wouldn't release Terrell Owens and eventually did.

He said he wouldn't fire a coach midseason and then did with Wade Phillips.

Jones said he reserves the right to change his mind and I agree with his right to do so. After all, Jones is the owner/general manager of the team.

Garrett erred by allowing Jones to pick his offensive playcaller and defensive coordinator.

Jones fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after last season and hired Monte Kiffin.

The results have been bad. Kiffin and Ryan both dealt with injuries, but it appears the defense is regressing this season under Kiffin.

Jones offered a vote of confidence in Kiffin on his radio show Tuesday morning. Garrett wasn't asked about Kiffin's status following the Bears game.

What's the point?

Garrett gave up play-calling duties to Bill Callahan and after a few weeks of sluggish play, the head coach made a switch.

He moved quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson to the press box to get a better view of the defense.

Now, Garrett calls in plays to quarterback Tony Romo.

Garrett took more control of the offense with that move. He said he can take over the play-calling duties if he wants to, but I'm starting to doubt that more by the moment.

If your job is on the line, you will do whatever you can do to save it. If that means upsetting Callahan and Jones, do it.

At some point, you have to stand up for yourself and Garrett is only doing that halfway. Jones is going to stand up for the franchise by firing Garrett if things don't work out.

You can blame the defense again for the Cowboys' failings, but the reality is that Garrett is in charge of the entire team and he'll be held accountable.

Jones wants Garrett long-term

Archer By Todd Archer
ESPNDallas.com
Archive

I'm going out on a limb here by trusting Jerry Jones. And I was there one time when he said, "Just because I say it, doesn't mean it's true."

But I don't believe Jason Garrett is coaching for his job in these final three games. I believe he will be the Cowboys' coach in 2014 whether the Cowboys make the playoffs or not. Now, can I offer up some wiggle room? If they crater and lose their last three games the way they lost to the Chicago Bears on ESPN's "Monday Night Football," then I can see Jones going back on his word.

I just don't think they'll be as bad as they were against the Bears. Not against two backup quarterbacks in the final three games. Wait, Josh McCown tore them up and he is a backup quarterback. Let me re-think that statement.

I kid. I kid.

But here's what I won't kid about: I believe Jones desperately wants Garrett to be his coach long-term. He has averaged a new coach almost every fourth year since taking over as owner and general manager in 1989. Jimmy Johnson lasted the longest at five years. Chan Gailey had the shortest tenure at two years. Garrett is in his third year.

It hasn't been perfect, but can we pin the troubles solely on Garrett? No. The general manager deserves a lot of the blame, too. He has not given Garrett the best rosters. Every time I hear or read about all the talent the Cowboys have I wonder if these people have looked at the roster. There is talent but the roster's not among the most talented in the league. It's among the most-hyped, that's for sure, and that's part of Jones' problem, too. He believes there's a ton of talent here because hes the guy who's put this roster together and he hears from his circle of football friends just how good the roster is.

But that's not what this Hot Button is about.

Garrett had to rebuild the offensive line on the fly since taking over and I think it's gotten better. It's funny what happens when the general manager spends premium picks on offensive linemen, isn't it?

Garrett has had to withstand a scheme change on defense.

Jones thought they had the pieces in place to make the move from the 3-4 to the 4-3 but the key pieces have not had the seasons needed to make it work. Morris Claiborne has been hurt and inconsistent. DeMarcus Ware has been hurt and inconsistent. Bruce Carter has been inconsistent and now he's hurt, too.

I didn't believe Monte Kiffin would make a big difference this year with the scheme. I thought the Cowboys' defense would be middle of the road. But being the worst in the NFL is another story entirely. This is historically bad and I would think Garrett ... oops, I mean Jones will be on the lookout for a new coordinator in 2014.

There aren't a lot of high-level coaches to go after if Jones wants to make a change. Lovie Smith could be gone. It looks like Mike Shanahan could be available. Would Jones want to give the job to a first-time head coach again, especially one which he would not be familiar with? I don't think so.

So I don't believe Garrett is coaching for his job in the final three weeks. Some other assistant coaches might be.

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