Who's Saving Their Jobs with Cowboys as Dallas Competes for Division Title?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks for an open receiver against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 2, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are currently in the hunt for the NFC East crown along with a chance at making the 2012 NFL playoffs, both of which could save a lot of jobs this offseason. 

Dallas currently sits at 7-6, which ties the team with the Washington Redskins and places it only one game behind the NFC East-leading New York Giants

A lot has gone wrong for the Cowboys this season from top to bottom, beginning with Jerry Jones and ending with a string of injuries that have cost the team. Despite a plethora of issues, the Cowboys have forged ahead together as a team and may just snag a playoff berth. 

From there, anything is possible. 

This is a far cry from a few weeks ago, when there were multiple people within the organization, from coaches to players, who were on the hot seat with the 'Boys reeling. A divisional crown would reverse the fortune of those on the chopping block rather quickly. 

Let's examine three key contributors to the 2012 Cowboys who are currently in the midst of saving their jobs now that Dallas is competing for an NFC East title. 


Tony Romo

Don't laugh now, because Tony Romo's job was in serious jeopardy only a few weeks ago. Yes, he has a contract through the 2013 season, but no, that doesn't mean the team would have paid him the $16.8 million he costs next year if he continued to play horribly. 

After a stellar season in 2011 in which Romo threw for over 4,000 yards, 31 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions with a pristine 102.5 quarterback rating, the sky was the limit for the embattled quarterback this year. 

So far Romo has responded with just 3,928 yards, 20 touchdowns and 16 interceptions to go with his 88 quarterback rating. 

Romo was horrendous for parts of the season, routinely costing the Cowboys games with his ill-timed interceptions. Some of the fault has to fall on the laughably bad offensive line, but most of the blame still falls on the man who made the decision to let go of the football. 

Romo has picked things up in recent weeks as he's thrown for 571 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception in his past two games. He's a major reason the Cowboys are competing for the NFC East now, and that has all but secured his job status for next season. 


Rob Ryan

Rob Ryan is but a branch on a family tree that prides itself on defense, and that has been evident throughout his career. 

However, 2012 has seen Ryan finally field a mediocre unit that has issues doing much of anything in the way of slowing down opposing offenses. 

To be fair, Ryan is missing his starting nose tackle and two starting linebackers, among others. With that said, Ryan is known for taking lackluster talent and transforming it into an elite unit—just look at his work with the Cleveland Browns over the years. 

Ryan's defense is currently giving up 24 points per game and has only generated 29 sacks on the season. The defense's inability to get off the field has severely hampered the offense. 

Recently Ryan's defense has been doing just enough to win games, so his job status should be secure with the team remaining competitive in the division. His play-calling has been questionable at best, but when things are going good overall like this, he's almost guaranteed to be back next year. 


Jason Garrett 

Jason Garrett is the man in Dallas who has taken the most flak for the way the Cowboys had been playing all season long, and the criticism was undoubtedly justified. 

The head coach of "America's Team" has had serious issues controlling his locker room. There have been the well-publicized issues off the field, and on the field the Cowboys are one of the most penalized teams in the NFL. 

To make matters worse for Garrett, his offensive play-calling has been an absolute joke all season long. The Cowboys are one of the better teams in the league in terms of yardage produced per game, but that simply hasn't turned into points. 

Currently, Dallas is only producing 23 points per game. Garrett has failed to find a way to get the running game going, injuries or not. Dallas averages a horrific 80 yards on the ground per game, second to last in the NFL. 

Garrett has somehow managed to navigate the treacherous waters for Dallas and now has the team competing for the division. It hasn't been pretty by any means, but Garrett is doing just enough to secure his job as the team moves forward.