Jerry Jones clearly wants Jason Garrett to succeed as the Cowboys head coach, but how many wins does the Princeton graduate need in 2019 to keep his job?
The Cowboys enter ever season with high expectations, but there are legitimate Super Bowl dreams in Dallas this offseason. The biggest question mark the franchise has heading into the 2019 campaign may be whether Jason Garrett is the right head coach to pilot them to the promised land.
Owner/GM Jerry Jones doesn’t make any secret of his support for Garrett. He recently told reporters that he wants Garrett to remain the team’s head coach for the duration of his tenure. Given the fact that Jones is unlikely to retire anytime soon, that would seem to portend a lengthy run on the Dallas sidelines for Garrett.
That doesn’t mean he won’t be under pressure to produce this season. The Cowboys have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott may be absent from training camp, but the combination of he, Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper gives the team a chance to field a top-five offense. Playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the game won’t hurt matters either.
The defense has its share of stars too. DeMarcus Lawrence is the biggest name the Cowboys sport on that side of the ball, but he’s not the only elite talent. Jaylon Smith is a young linebacker who could easily develop into an All-Pro. Byron Jones is quietly one of the most consistent cornerbacks in the game. Add it all up and the Cowboys should comfortably slot in as one of the top-10 defenses on the season.
Such quality on both sides of the ball will put a lot of pressure onto Garrett to lead this team on a deep playoff run. Jones is certainly fond of him, but he’s even more attached to the idea that the Cowboys should contend for Super Bowl titles on an annual basis. That doesn’t mean Garrett has to hoist the Lombardi Trophy this year, but it does mean that he can’t afford to miss the postseason altogether.
The magic number for Garrett this season will likely need Dallas hitting the 10-win mark during the regular season. The Cowboys don’t necessarily have to win the division, but Garrett needs to secure a solid playoff berth. Finishing at 10-6 is the minimum record that will likely be required to achieve that goal.
Of course, Garrett can’t really change his perception as a head coach until the playoffs arrive. His job will be in jeopardy if the Cowboys crash out of the postseason after just one game. In an ideal world, Dallas needs to reach the NFC Championship game to really achieve a successful season. Coming up one step short won’t cost Garrett his job, but it will increase the pressure on him heading into the 2020 campaign.
Garrett’s job status won’t be the biggest story from the Cowboys this year, but it certainly could become a hot button issue if the team falls short of its lofty goals on the season. He’s not on the hot seat, but it’s a chair that could get very warm, very quickly down in Texas.