Despite winning just four games amid an injury-plagued season from quarterback Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett still has the support of owner Jerry Jones.
"I think he’s built for this circumstance," Jones said Sunday, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. "He couldn’t be more familiar with our team. He couldn’t be more familiar with our opponents. He couldn’t be more familiar with what we didn’t do right last year. He’s smart, he’s hardworking, his staff is hardworking. Yes, I’m very pleased with him."
Garrett, 49, is 45-43 since taking over as the team's coach in 2010. He has made the playoffs just once in that time frame. The Cowboys entered 2015 with playoff expectations. They were coming off Garrett's most successful campaign, an ascent to 12-4 that gave the coach's tenure new life. However, a pair of shoulder injuries limited Romo to four games, and the Cowboys took a nosedive out of contention.
Kellen Moore, Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden each took turns under center and were remarkably unsuccessful. Romo somehow tied for the team lead in touchdown passes (five) despite playing in less than half as many games as Cassel (nine). Jones highlighted the team's inability to develop a proper backup as one of his biggest disappointments for 2015.
"I’m not pleased at all with the fact that we won four games," Jones said, per Machota. "I’m not pleased that we didn’t get a backup quarterback successfully in place to help us win some games. I’m not pleased with any of that, but he’s not either. Jason, his blood is blue. Nobody is rooting for him more than I am."
It's unclear whether Jones' confidence is founded. It's not as if Garrett has been a bastion of greatness and 2015 was a random blip. The Cowboys had chances to make the playoffs in each of Garrett's first three seasons but fell short in a three-peat of Week 17 failures. He hasn't called plays for the team since 2013, ceding duties first to Bill Callahan and then Scott Linehan.
While it's unfair to judge Garrett based on a season when he didn't have his starting quarterback, it's fine to wonder if he's the man best suited for the job. But things go as Jones wants them to in Arlington. As long as Garrett is in the owner's good graces, he'll be on the sidelines.