Jerry Jones says no to in-season coaching change, and Dak Prescott will ‘get extended’
The truth is that Jerry Jones doesn’t really run the Dallas Cowboys’ personnel anymore. It’s easy to forget that, however, when the the team’s owner talks after virtually every game — win or lose — and has a weekly radio show, both during which he makes grand pronouncements on the state of the franchise.
And the inconvenient truth is that the Cowboys are going to have a hell of a time making the playoffs after dropping to 3-5 following Monday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, which was another black eye for embattled coach Jason Garrett and maligned QB Dak Prescott.
Both had chances to end chatter about their immediate and long-term futures with the Cowboys up 7-0 and approaching 14-0 early vs. the Titans. But an end-zone interception by Prescott absolutely was the turning point in the game, with Tennessee outscoring Dallas 28-7 from that point on in one of the worst regular-season losses the team has suffered in a few years.
But changes? Don’t expect any anytime soon — and for Prescott, he appears to have a strong future in Dallas if you believe Jones.
Regarding Garrett, Jones had only a one-word answer after the game on whether there might be an in-season coaching change: “No.” So that, apparently, settles that. (Remember, Jones’ only in-season firing was Wade Phillips in 2010 to promote ... Garrett. That team started 1-7 with Phillips and finished 5-3 under Garrett.)
But the more interesting stuff from Jones came Tuesday on 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas when he said not only that “Dak is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys” but that “he’s young and he’s going to get extended.”
As in his contract. Prescott’s end zone pick helped stunt a good start offensively in their first game with Amari Cooper, as the Cowboys’ new acquisition got involved early. But they got away from Cooper for a long stretch of the game until it was too late, and the offensive struggles have lasted now more than a year.
We can understand why Jones might still see hope in Prescott and how his struggles might actually make his asking price for a new deal more manageable (in theory, at least). But the turnover-worthy plays, even without much help around him, have been Prescott’s undoing in 2018. The fumbles (four in eight games) have been the biggest recent worry, but he’s also had only a 16-14 TD-INT ratio over his past 15 games.
With Cooper on board and projections for a better offensive line down the road, the future forecast of this offense isn’t entirely dire. They still have Ezekiel Elliott as the centerpiece, even if they have not been able to get him going in recent games, so Prescott might actually fit as Dallas’ long-term option at QB.
But with Garrett? With his current staff? That clearly remains a shaky proposition. Jones’ relationship with Garrett will make the end-of-season call on his future very tough, but it does feel like the operation has gone stale ever since the playoffs loss to the Packers two years ago. This is not just an eight-game trend we’re talking about.
So Jones’ talk about Prescott being extended feels odd, timing-wise, no question about it. But it makes some sense if you assume they come to their senses about this staff bringing out the best in him. It’s just probably not happening now.