It's seemingly a December or January tradition at this point, but Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was noncommittal when discussing head coach Jason Garrett's job status following Sunday's 17-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
"It leaves, from my perspective, a lot to consider here," Jones told Jarrett Bell of USA Today. "This was a little bit of a surprise. I didn't see the Chicago Bears game coming (a 31-24 loss in Week 14) and this one was a surprise. I thought we were prepared to play. I thought we could play better out here. I'm disappointed."
The offense looked anything but prepared, as Ezekiel Elliott managed just 13 carries on 47 yards and Dak Prescott failed to throw for a single touchdown.
There were plenty of questionable coaching decisions, including leaving Elliott on the sidelines for multiple 3rd-and-1 plays, punting on 4th-and-1 and not having star wide receiver Amari Cooper on the field for a key fourth down in the fourth quarter.
Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News noted the No. 1 receiver wasn't benched but instead on the sidelines for Tavon Austin because the Cowboys "didn't want to tire Cooper out" following a go route.
The decisions were magnified by the overall importance of the game, as the Eagles are now in first place in the NFC East and can clinch the division with a win over the New York Giants in Week 17.
It wasn't just this game that may have doomed Dallas, as it has lost four of five contests since it was sitting pretty at 6-4 following a Week 11 win over the Detroit Lions. It managed just nine points in two of those games, and the Chicago contest Jones mentioned wasn't as close at the final score indicated seeing as how Dallas scored 10 points in the final five minutes.
Garrett has been the head coach of the Cowboys since the 2010 season, and the team has never advanced past the second round of the playoffs.
His job status is a constant topic of conversation surrounding the team, and Bell pointed out this year is the second time in his tenure he entered a season with "lame-duck status" because Jones didn't extend his contract heading into its final year.
Garrett kept his job last time, but Jones has plenty to consider this time around.