According to former Cowboys star Darren Woodson, though, that long leash may be shortening. Woodson told KDFW-TV FOX4 Dallas that this is a "make or break" season for Garrett:
"We just don't know—every year is a make it or break it year for not only Jason, but for every coach in this league. But I think... Jason has his work cut out for him. It's going to be tough. He's lost one of the true leaders in his locker room in Jason Witten—year before that he lost Tony Romo.
"This is a young football team. And the way I look at it, every year.... you have to start all over again and Jason Garrett understands that. It's a "not for long" league. He's going to have to win some games—I think they have to get into the playoffs for him to survive and keep his job. That's the expectation that Jerry Jones has Stephen Jones has—it's that this team... they feel like it's a playoff football team. And they put all the onus on the head coach to get the job done. So yeah. If you're asking whether this is a make or break season, absolutely."
Garrett, 52, is 67-53 during his time with the Cowboys. He's led them to 8-8 or 9-7 non-playoff seasons in four of his seven years with the team, including a 9-7 mark in 2017. The Cowboys were coming off a 13-3 campaign that led to high expectations, but a regression from Dak Prescott and a six-game suspension to Ezekiel Elliott derailed their year.
Garrett signed a five-year, $30 million contract in 2015. With his contract only guaranteed through 2019, this may be the definition of make-or-break for him. Coaches and teams rarely like to go into so-called "lame duck" seasons. Having a multi-year contract in place for a coach creates a sense of organizational calm; having a coach on a one-year contract makes it clear everyone is playing for their jobs.
So, odds are, Garrett will be on the outs if the Cowboys don't make a playoff push in 2018.