Garrett Future Murky as Cowboys Beat Redskins, Miss Playoffs

Dallas lost control of its playoff fate with a loss to Philadelphia in Week 16

Jason Garrett lost himself in a couple of long anecdotes during a reflective session with reporters after what could have been his last game as coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

When asked whether he expected to return for a 10th full year in 2020 with his contract expiring at the end of an underachieving season for Dallas, Garrett got right to the point.

"I have no idea," the coach said Sunday after the Cowboys beat Washington 47-16 behind four touchdown passes from Dak Prescott but were eliminated from the playoffs thanks to Philadelphia's victory over the New York Giants.

Dallas (8-8) lost control of its postseason fate with a 17-9 loss to the Eagles last week.

Now the fate of Garrett is in the hands of owner Jerry Jones, who turned aside numerous attempts to offer a timeframe on a decision, essentially saying any of those questions imply that he's made a decision when perhaps there isn't even a decision to make.

The Cowboys missed the playoffs after the Eagles beat the Giants, Dak Prescott came up just a yard shy of the Dallas’ single-season record for passing yards and everything else you need to know about the Cowboys’ regular season finale.

"I don't have a shareable timetable," Jones said. "The proper question here is: `Do I have anything that I would share as far as my timetable, my thoughts or any work that I've done, we've done, any work preparing for the future?' All of that I would not comment on or share at this time."

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It's the fourth time Dallas has finished .500 under Garrett, whose career record is 87-70, including a 2-3 playoff mark. The first three 8-8 records ran consecutively in his first three full seasons from 2011-13, with the Cowboys losing the finale each time when a win would have put them in the playoffs.

"Oh, absolutely," Garrett said when asked if he still had more coaching to do in the NFL.

Asked if he wanted to remain in the job he's held since the middle of the 2010 season when Wade Phillips was fired, Garrett said, "I want to be the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but we'll see what happens."

Dallas could have made the playoffs without a winning record for the third time in franchise history. Instead, the Eagles won the division for the second time in three years by beating the Giants 34-17.

Case Keenum had a TD toss as the Redskins (3-13) secured the No. 2 pick in the draft in what could be their final game under interim coach Bill Callahan.

The former Dallas assistant replaced Jay Gruden, fired in October with Washington at 0-5. The agent for Ron Rivera said the Redskins planned to meet Monday with the former Carolina coach, who also was fired this season.

"The thing that I know is that this team, this group of guys, this record is not indicative of the type of locker room this is, and the type of talent I think that we had," said Keenum, who was 18 of 37 for 206 yards, with an early interception. "You can see there's a lot of different things that you could point your finger at. I'm going to point my finger at myself."

Three of Prescott's TD passes went to Michael Gallup as the fourth-year quarterback fell 1 yard short of Tony Romo's club record of 4,903 yards passing in a season.

Michael Gallup #13 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins in the game at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 29, 2019 in Arlington, Texas.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Michael Gallup #13 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins in the game at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 29, 2019 in Arlington, Texas.

About the time the Cowboys put away the Redskins on Prescott's second TD pass to Gallup for a 37-16 lead late in the third quarter, Philadelphia went up 10 with a TD after the Giants lost a fumble at their 2-yard line.

"I don't know if I've ever been disappointed after a win, to be honest with you. But that was tonight," Prescott said. He was 23 of 33 for 303 yards in his second straight game playing with a sprained right shoulder, looking much better than he did in the loss to Philadelphia.

In Gallup's first career game with multiple touchdowns, the second-year player had five catches for 98 yards.

Ezekiel Elliott, who helped fuel Super Bowl hopes by signing a $90 million extension to end a long holdout days before the opener, had a 32-yard touchdown run and a 13-yard scoring catch.

The Cowboys won their first three games after the two-time rushing champion signed the big contract, but lost eight of the next 12 to put their postseason fate in the hands of the Eagles.

Elliott had 122 yards rushing to finish with 1,357. It's the first time he has played a full season without leading the NFL in rushing.

Dallas was hoping to build on the first playoff win for Prescott and Elliott last season before a divisional-round loss to the Los Angeles Rams that ended the club's 23rd consecutive season without reaching the NFC championship game.

Now that number is at 24 and counting.

"Just that we didn't get the job done," Elliott said of his biggest disappointment. "We're not in the playoffs. We lost some games we should've won. We weren't good enough."

Washington's Adrian Peterson, fifth on the career rushing list, had a 32-yard run to set up a second-half field goal and finished with 78 yards to put his total at 14,216 in his 13th season. The club has a 2020 option on the 34-year-old's contract.

Redskins: DB Maurice Smith was ruled out with a concussion after being taken off the field on a cart in the first quarter. ... Leading receiver Terry McLaurin, a rookie, had already been ruled out with a concussion.

Cowboys: CB Byron Jones missed a game for the first time in his career after injuring an ankle at practice during the week. ... Seven-time Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith was out because of a back injury. It's the fourth consecutive season that Smith has missed three games. ... DE DeMarcus Lawrence was sidelined early by a rib injury and later ruled out with a back issue.

The season is over for both teams.

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