Jones: Gar­rett will re­turn as coach in 2014

The Washington Times Daily - - Sports - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS THE WASH­ING­TON TIMES

IRV­ING, TEXAS | Ja­son Gar­rett will start the stretch run in pur­suit of his first trip to the play­offs on the same field where he de­buted as coach of the Dal­las Cow­boys three years ago.

His job doesn’t de­pend on whether he gets that post­sea­son berth. At least that’s what owner Jerry Jones said Thurs­day.

While say­ing he was “dis­ap­pointed” in a 5-5 record that has dropped the Cow­boys out of the top spot in the NFC East for the first time this sea­son, Jones said Gar­rett will re­turn in 2014 re­gard­less of whether the Cow­boys end their three-year play­off drought.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed we don’t have a bet­ter record, but he has got us in po­si­tion to win the di­vi­sion and got a team here I firmly be­lieve has the abil­ity to be one of the bet­ter play­ing teams at the end,” said Jones, ad­dress­ing about a dozen re­porters on the team’s prac­tice field. “A lot of this story is to be played out. It does not have a bear­ing on whether or not he will be our coach next year. It has no bear­ing on that.”

Asked if Gar­rett would be his coach next year, Jones twice said yes.

The Cow­boys are a half-game be­hind idle Philadel­phia (6-5) go­ing into an im­por­tant di­vi­sion game at the New York Gi­ants (4-6), who can tie Dal­las for sec­ond af­ter start­ing the sea­son 0-6.

Gar­rett wasn’t sen­ti­men­tal about re­turn­ing to the site of his first game — a 33-20 win af­ter Wade Phillips was fired with the Cow­boys at 1-7 in 2010 — and he wasn’t par­tic­u­larly moved when told of Jones’ com­ments.

“We’re talk­ing about prac­tic­ing well to­day,” said Gar­rett, who was a backup to Troy Aikman in the 1990s and was hired by Jones as of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor in 2007 be­fore Phillips was named head coach. “That’s what we’re go­ing to fo­cus on, and that’s some­thing we em­pha­size to our team. That’s some­thing we have to live as a coach­ing staff.”

The Cow­boys fin­ish the reg­u­lar sea­son at home against the Ea­gles. They have a lost a play­offs-or-bust fi­nale to a ri­val each of Gar­rett’s two full sea­sons.

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