In our "Shutdown Countdown" series, we noted that the Dallas Cowboys are expected to contend for the playoffs each and every season. The Cowboys have missed the playoffs the last three seasons, including the last two seasons when they had an opportunity to reach the postseason with a win in the regular season finale.
The Cowboys have gone 21-19 under head coach Jason Garrett, who many feel is on the hot seat. On Saturday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones dismissed the notion that this is a "make or break" season for Garrett, Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports.
"Everything I'm thinking about is not only about how to beat the Giants when we open up (the regular season), but also about what our future is in a plus manner or in a positive way with Jason," Jones said. "I look to the future with Jason, not just through his contract that we're sitting here with right now. I think he has a couple of years left on his contract, but that's not a thought.
"It is not what is implied when you say, 'This is an Armaggedon year for him.' It's not that with me."
Garrett, who has relinquished play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, has two seasons remaining on his current. However, Garrett's contract and Jones' words on Saturday mean very little when it comes to his actual job security as the Cowboys' head coach. Proof of that can be found in Wade Phillips, who signed a contract extension in January of 2010 and received multiple reassurances from Jones before he was fired and replaced with Garrett after the team opened the 2010 season with a 1-7 record.
If the Cowboys stumble out of the gate, Garrett could be gone.