Jason Garrett has a 12-9 record as Cowboys head coach, he went 5-3 with a team that started 1-7 last year and he's got a chance to win the NFC East in his first full year as the top man in the organization.
By any measure, that's a good body of work. It could be better, obviously, but there aren't many coaches who don't have room for improvement 21 games into their career as a head coach. The team is clearly playing harder than they did for Wade Phillips, there's a greater sense of accountability and there are more players contributing up and down the roster than there were in past years.
And yet there are questions about whether or not he'll get a second year. Perhaps that's just life in the big leagues, especially when you're the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but it seems crazy that there should be any significant level of dissatisfaction with a first-time head coach who has won more than he's lost in his first 21 games on the job.
Jerry Jones did his best to nip the craziness in the bud on Tuesday during an interview with ESPN. He was asked if Garrett's job was in danger and he didn't equivocate at all when he answered in the negative.
"No, not at all," Jones said. "It's really not even something worth discussion. We are really just getting started. We've made the first half step out of the blocks in Jason's career as coach of the Dallas Cowboys. I do intend, if there are mistakes made, then, I want to be around for the rewards when they're corrected. And he's the guy that can correct them."
Garrett has done plenty of good things since taking over, but nothing is better than his apology to the team for mishandling the end of the Arizona loss. That sends a clear message about how Garrett expects his team to own their mistakes and work to avoid them in the future. It also showed that he learned a lesson about how to address issues after being quite hamhanded in his comments to the media about what went down in that game.
The fourth quarter losses are agonizing, but there's a big difference between a team that hasn't figured out how to finish off opponents and one that can't compete. If the latter was in evidence, it would be much easier to make an argument that Garrett isn't up to the job. But it isn't and Jones is dead on when he says Garrett's job security isn't worth discussion.
Sports has become all about immediate gratification, something that has been a problem for Double J in the past, but Garret's brief tenure has had much more good than bad. Jones hired Garrett because he believed he could win games with the Cowboys. There's no reason to believe that isn't the case and no reason to believe he won't be a better coach in 2012 and beyond based on what we've seen to this point.
Why then, would you even consider nipping it in the bud before you have a chance to see how he grows into the job?