Jason Garrett: No contract talks
INDIANAPOLIS -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, who is entering the final year of his contract, said there have not been any discussions about a new deal.
Garrett has a 29-27 record since taking over as the Cowboys' coach midway through the 2010 season, but he has posted three straight 8-8 marks, with Dallas losing its season finale in each of those seasons with the NFC East title on the line.
"My focus is really on being the best coach I can be each and every day, so that's what I think about and that's what I focus on," Garrett said.
Garrett's focus with the team will be slightly different than it has been since he joined the Cowboys in 2007 as offensive coordinator. Last season marked the first time he did not call the offensive plays with Bill Callahan handling those duties, but Garrett remained heavily involved in setting up the passing game during the week.
With Scott Linehan hired as passing game coordinator and set to call plays in 2014, Garrett's role with the entire offense will take a back seat.
"The biggest thing we have tried to do is allow me to move more to the responsibility of a head coach, giving equal time to the offense, defense and special teams as well as the other responsibilities of personnel and all the things that come with the position," Garrett said. "The hope is that I have a less of a role. Obviously I'll have a strong influence there and have a strong influence in the other two phases as well."
Linehan will set up the passing game and Callahan will handle the running game during the week, which is the role he had in 2012, when he joined the Cowboys as offensive coordinator.
Garrett's trust in Linehan, with whom he worked with the Miami Dolphins in 2005, played a key role int the decision.
"He's done this for a number of years both at the college level and the NFL level," Garrett said. "If you look at his track record, he's had success. He's had success as an offensive coordinator calling plays, putting his plan together and our philosophies are very similar. His quarterbacks have always played well. He's had teams where his runners, they've been a top-five rushing team. He seems to always get a big-play receiver to play very well for him. So we feel like philosophically we are on the same page. We've worked together. We've worked well together. I understand what he's trying to get accomplished, how he works day to day, how he calls a game. So for a lot of reasons, we felt this was a really good fit for us."
Garrett said he does not feel any more pressure despite his contract situation.
"There is always a sense of urgency," Garrett said. "The best players, coaches and teams live with a sense of urgency every day, 365 days out of the year. That is the philosophy we have. That is the attitude we take."