Vice president Stephen Jones said the team still believes coach Jason Garrett is the right man for the job.
“Look, every coach is under that with or without a contract,” Jones said at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “He’s got a year left on his contract. We can sign him after the contract is over.”
But doesn’t his lame-duck status and the team’s streak of four consecutive seasons minus the playoffs make the situation a little more acute in 2014?
“He feels that,” Jones said. “We feel it. We feel the need to get over the hump.”
The Cowboys are using the combine to take a step in that direction as they begin to evaluate options for the NFL Draft. They have the 16th pick in the first round.
But Jones and Garrett believe they have already taken great strides improving as a team with the changes they made on the coaching staff last month.
The highlights were the hiring of former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan as the passing-game coordinator and play-caller, demoting Bill Callahan from offensive coordinator/offensive line coach and play-caller to run-game coordinator/offensive line coach, demoting Monte Kiffin from defensive coordinator to assistant head coach defense and promoting defensive line coach Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator.
The Cowboys will have had three play-callers and three defensive coordinators in three years.
Jones said the decision on defense with moving Marinelli over Kiffin was predicated by performance, considering the Cowboys set franchise records for most yards and first downs allowed.
While Marinelli had a lot of input last year because of his close relationship with Kiffin, Jones believes Marinelll’s having final say will make a huge difference in 2014.
“I think at the end of the day Monte had the final say and Rod deferred to Monte,” Jones said. “There is some respect there. No different than me and Jerry. There is no deferring to Monte. Rod has final say. Rod is truly the defensive coordinator.”
-- Clarence Hill Jr.