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Jerry Jones “Absolutely Not” Considering Cowboys Coaching Changes

Sean Martin

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With yesterday's 28-6 Thanksgiving loss to the LA Chargers, Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett put his name alongside the legendary Tom Landry for all the wrong reasons. Becoming the first Cowboys coach to lose three straight games by 20 or more points at the helm of America's Team since Landry, a price is going to have to be paid somewhere in Dallas as their 2017 season sits at 5-6 and in need of saving.

The belief that any player - on offense or defense - or coach can turn this around is understandably low however.

Jerry Jones felt the need to address his team in the locker room immediately following another collapse by the Cowboys sans Ezekiel Elliott or Sean Lee last night. All signs point to this talk by Jones remaining positive and inspirational for a team that plays yet again in seven days.

Despite the desperate nature of everything surrounding football in Dallas right now, Jones left the locker room and presented the waiting media with a clear message regarding the NFL's reigning Coach of the Year.

Jones is "absolutely not" considering firing Head Coach Jason Garrett at this time.

David Helman on Twitter

Jerry Jones was asked after leaving the Cowboys' locker room if his coaching position needed to be re-evaluated after tonight: His answer: "Absolutely not." #cowboyswire

Jones has been a supporter of Garrett for a long time, even prior to Jason stepping up from Offensive Coordinator (where he was viewed as a HC in waiting) to Head Coach following Wade Phillips' firing in 2010.

Jerry has seen Jason Garrett rebuild an aging roster into a stable one with separate starting quarterbacks winning NFC East titles under his leadership. From this perspective, without even including the full range of failures that Jones has witnessed from atop the Cowboys, this team's current ineptitude in functioning without a handful of star players is barely a blip on the radar.

There is a sense though that Garrett along with Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan and Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli have collectively hit their ceiling as the top coaches here.

Marinelli's defense may have players full of promise, but his scheme and ability to develop talent leaves a lot to be desired.

Linehan's once-dynamic offense has failed to crack just ten points without Zeke Elliott.

Playing six games without Ezekiel Elliott this late in the season was never going to be easy, but starting off this current stretch of losses with that week 10 beat down in Atlanta only foreshadowed the struggles that would lie ahead.

It feels safe to say that, if noncompetitive and uninspiring losses continue, somebody in power with the Cowboys is going to have to pay for it. Cases can be made for any possible combination of a new play caller on offense or defense, or even a new Head Coach, to lead the team in 2018.

Jerry Jones "Absolutely Not" Considering Cowboys Coaching Changes 1

(Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

For the moment though, with fans pouring for the exits to enjoy what was left of a Thanksgiving lacking subsistence from the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett is safe as the coach of the Cowboys.

It will be up to him to once again motivate his group out of tough times into a playoff spot that feels painfully dangled in front of the faces of Cowboys Nation like that final slice of pumpkin pie from last night. It's still there, but for how much longer - and do we really want it to be in the first place?

Tell us what you think about "Jerry Jones “Absolutely Not” Considering Cowboys Coaching Changes" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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13 Comments
  • Jesse Pope

    Players giving up on plays, not tackling has got nothing to do with the absence of Ezekiel Elliot and LB Sean Lee. C’MON now. Garrett has lost this team. He has no control whatsoever so coach Jones has to step in. “F” this b.s. I am done. I will tune in when Jerry dies and the team finally has real hope again.

  • Hector Espindola

    There will be changes if JJ recognizes that Zeke masks all problems on offense and that Lee does the same on defensive. If this is not the case, JJ’s “assessment” will be a combination of adverse situations not attributable to the coaches and maybe recognizing a lack of better bench. I do not see the departure of Garrett or Linehan in the medium run.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      The problem that comes up when you assess that your team is as thin as you mention (incapable without 21 or 50 on the field) is that Jerry is still very much part of the roster build – but trusts Garrett and Marinelli a ton too in finding these players.

      • Hector Espindola

        Once again right Sean, seems then it’s a vicious circle until JJ gives the reins 100% to Stephen and then we might see a change.

  • Jorge Gonzalez

    honestly these words of JJ in nothing help, he should press the HC mainly to JG that looks very comfortable week after week losing by more than 20 pts, honestly I thought that DAK would be an elite marshal but apparently it is getting big team it is not possible that I can not have a good series without having ZEKE from there the problem comes the players do not feel pressured even look at the tackles that the defense, players without soul and desire, this is not dallas and the fault is JJ for allowing me to continue to the front JG …

  • dallas1966

    Jerry Jones arrogantly believes that his hand picked head coach Jason Garrett will eventually become the next Tom Landry of his generation..

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      This will obviously never happen, but I do believe there is some merit to keeping Garrett as a familiar face should you shake up the coordinator positions. The best coaches have always been praised for allowing their coordinators to work and have the trust of their HC, and this has been said about Garrett.

  • Russ_Te

    – absolutely not” considering firing Head Coach Jason Garrett at this time –

    If we have to watch the Atlanta game again for the 4th week in a row, Garrett could right now be in his last 7 days as Cowboys HC

    After the Chargers game, there is no defending the inability to adjust on offense. Garrett had the same problem in Denver. Never changed out of what their defense had stopped cold in the first quarter.

    Enough. I want him out.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Russ, thank you for reading as always. My question for you is this – do you want Garrett out merely to see someone pay for the recent struggles, or would you rather see Scott Linehan out based on the root of your team analysis (offensive adjustments)?

      • Russ_Te

        No, it’s to implement a fix not to retaliate… ;^)

        Garrett owns the suck on offense at least as much as Linehan, since OC was his job before HC, and any HC can & should over-rule when it’s the OC or DC screwing the team up.

        So I see no fix by just releasing Linehan. It’s possible, but it’s kept in house so nobody can know – that Linehan has wanted change like Butler & Gathers, that Garrett won’t go to.

        So, some chance of change if Linehan were promoted to HC. None if Garrett stays.

        It’s a good next column – who is / should be on deck for HC?

        • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

          Appreciate the column ideas 🙂

      • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com Cowboysdude

        Why would you want to keep a Coach that’s had 7 years to win and hasn’t? 7 Years to improve and hasn’t? AND shows no signs of improving period. Time to move on.

  • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com Cowboysdude

    Apparently losing fans doesn’t seem to bother him but yet this team is……numbers are down.. and now they got bumped out of a prime time spot..they got flexed. THAT should make people stand up and notice that this team is losing viewers……time for the puppet to go and for Jerry to get out of the way.

Player News

MRI Negative on Cowboys G Zack Martin’s Knee Injury

Jess Haynie

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Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys saw a few guys go down in last night's preseason game, but none scarier than All-Pro guard Zack Martin. Thankfully, they got some good news today on Martin's status.

An MRI of the knee showed no major injury, and that means Zack should be good to go for the team's regular season opener in three weeks.

David Moore on Twitter

Cowboys have received results of Zack Martin's MRI & it's encouraging. Source said there's no significant injury to left knee & he could be ready for opener against Carolina on Sept. 9.

Last week, Dallas lost one of their likely reserve guards when Marcus Martin went on injured reserve after the first preseason game. That leaves just Joe Looney as the only trusted reserve right now for the interior line.

But even though Looney has played well at times when called upon, he's no Zack Martin. In fact, only a couple of guys in the entire NFL can claim to be on that level.

Sprains and other non-major injuries to the knee tend to fall into the 2-4 week range for recovery. Barring complications, Martin should be ready to take on the Panthers' Kawann Short, Dontari Poe, and others.

We're still waiting for updates on other key players who were injured last night, such as Safety Xavier Woods, Running Back Bo Scarbrough, and Defensive Lineman Datone Jones. We'll get those to you as they are announced.

Hopefully, they all get the same good news that Zack Martin did today.



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Player News

Zack Martin, Xavier Woods Suffer Preseason Injuries, Cowboys Down 2 Starters

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys' Eyeing Training Camp To Extend Zack Martin's Contract

Last Saturday night didn't end well for the Dallas Cowboys, who saw multiple players go down throughout the game, most notably Zack Martin and Xavier Woods. Preseason injuries are always the more painful ones, and when we're talking about someone like Martin, it just makes it worse.

Martin suffered a knee injury and was ruled out after going down. ESPN's Todd Archer tweeted out that a source had claimed the injury was a hyper-extended left knee. This surely would be great news considering the fear right now is a season-ending injury.

Todd Archer on Twitter

A source said the initial diagnosis of Zack Martin is a hyperextended left knee, but he will undergo an MRI on Sunday. The Cowboys do not practice again until Monday and play Aug. 26 against the Arizona Cardinals. Depending on the severity of the... https://t.co/1MPbJfQph8

Zack is set to have an MRI on Sunday and the team is hopeful the injury isn't that serious. We probably won't see the All-Pro left guard return in the preseason but could see him back on the field as soon as September 9th when the Cowboys kick their season off at Carolina.

Besides Zack Martin being the best offensive guard in the NFL, the Cowboys' offensive line depth is definitely not good. If his injury proves to be worse than what the front office believes, this offense will have to play without arguably their best player.

As we nervously await more news on Martin's knee, there are more injured players to talk about.

Xavier Woods injured his hamstring as he made an effort to intercept the ball and was also ruled out for the game. We still don't know about the severity, but we do know it's the same hamstring that he dealt with last year.

Although Woods isn't anywhere near Zack Martin as a football player, his injury comes at the team's weakest position in depth. Jeff Heath, Kavon Frazier and Xavier Woods are the Cowboys' only legitimate safeties that will earn a roster spot.

If the hamstring injury is serious enough to keep him sidelined for multiple weeks, we could see the Cowboys getting outside help for the defensive backfield. Whether that means trading for Earl Thomas, some other safety or looking at the free agents available, I don't see the team going into the season with two safeties on the roster.

For now, we need to wait for more results regarding both of these players who will be detrimental to this team's success in 2018. The Cowboys suffered more injuries than these ones, though.

Saad Yousuf on Twitter

And the injuries continue... Jameill Showers is down on the Cowboys sideline with what looks like a knee injury. Still down. Duke Thomas Datone Jones Bo Scarbrough Xavier Woods and the big one, Zack Martin That's the injury list for the Cowboys tonight.

Datone Jones has been impressive during his stay in Dallas and is a quality DT and was ruled out for the game after getting tangled up with the Bengal's offensive line. Seventh-round draft pick Bo Scarbrough suffered a hip injury and is apparently not severe either.

Compared to Woods' and Martin's injuries, these ones won't keep Cowboys' fans up at night. However, hopefully they all turn out to be okay and ready to play as soon as possible. The team's starters make this team a legit threat in the NFC, but when it comes to depth, they're not in a good position.

Tell me what you think about "Zack Martin, Xavier Woods Suffer Preseason Injuries, Cowboys Down 2 Starters" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys are halfway through their 2018 preseason. Given the injuries they're left to deal with to Zack Martin, Xavier Woods, and Jameill Showers, the Cowboys were happy to see their first home game of the season come to an end when it did. Despite the 21-13 loss, the Cowboys starters made another strong impression before exiting for backups that once again failed to hold the lead.

This is a game I'm looking forward to getting another look at on film, but for now here are a few thoughts the first time through.

  • Rookie Connor Williams is still a work in progress at guard, as he'll get himself in trouble trying to catch rushers too often. 

This "catch blocking" is not uncommon for young offensive linemen, particularly ones learning a new position in preparation to start on the league's best front. On the Cowboys second drive of the game, Williams was caught back in his stance dealing with a twist from the Bengals with Left Tackle Tyron Smith.

The result of the play was an incomplete pass on third down from Dak Prescott. With Williams' footwork being as consistent as it has, I wouldn't worry too much about his upper body technique and strength improving greatly before week one of the regular season. Perhaps most importantly, Williams has looked smooth playing in space, something the Cowboys are prepared to ask the second round pick to do plenty of.

  • With Randy Gregory back in the lineup, the Cowboys potential to have a great rotation of defensive ends was on full display. 

The play that stands out is a tackle for loss by Safety Jeff Heath. On the play, Defensive End Tyrone Crawford did a great job setting the edge against the run, allowing Heath to come down and make the aggressive play.

Crawford created penetration against a tight end, staying disciplined in his rush lane from the right defensive end position to force the run outside.

On the Bengals' offensive series prior to this play by Heath, the Cowboys forced a punt following a missed Andy Dalton throw to A.J. Green. Despite not being tight in coverage on third down, Randy Gregory looked sharp coming off the edge to rush Dalton slightly.

With Taco Charlton also looking strong against the run, and rookie Dorance Armstrong continuing to develop as a weak side pass rusher, the possible match ups the Cowboys can create up front are seemingly endless.

Almost all of them will include last year's sack leader DeMarcus Lawrence, who was also disruptive on nearly every snap in this game.

  • Give credit to Joe Looney for handling the reps he did at center, but the backup interior lineman left a lot to be desired from this position. 

It should come as no surprise that Looney is a better guard than center, or that the Cowboys would look significantly worse at center without Travis Frederick in the lineup.

Overall, this was a disappointing game for the Cowboys thin offensive line depth. Paul Alexander's unit was unable to give quarterbacks Cooper Rush and Mike White a fair chance to settle into the game.

Looney's contact balance was suspect throughout the evening. Not the most powerful player, it's important for Looney to play with leverage and balance, which he did inconsistently last night.

Awaiting news on Zack Martin's first quarter injury still, the Cowboys should have already been concerned about their backups at tackle, with the guard position becoming a late concern now.

  • This is becoming the standard for Jaylon Smith, but I did not see one Bengals blocker effectively slow him down.

The power that Smith is playing with is an outstanding sign for continued success. Not only is Smith physically up for the challenge of starting at MIKE for the Cowboys, but he's physically dominating opponents with strength, speed, and range.

Whether he was running laterally and avoiding blocks with great awareness, or attacking the pocket, Smith's path to the ball was rarely impeded against the Bengals.

No matter who the Cowboys lined up in their front seven, the group did a great job setting a strong tone. Antwaun Woods was once again impressive at the one technique position inside, and Brian Price made a flash play from this position late in the game as well.

Thanks to Smith's gap shooting ability, and the Cowboys willingness so far this preseason to be creative with the Notre Dame product, the team's defensive tackles don't have to be asked to do too much. Holding their spots while drawing blockers will be more than enough to free Smith and the rest of the Cowboys linebackers to make plays.

Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1

Dallas Cowboys CBs Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

  • Chidobe Awuzie's interception in the second quarter is a reminder of just how high the second-year cornerback's potential is. 

Sure, Awuzie's length put him at an advantage to take a leap into year two once Kris Richard arrived as the Cowboys passing game coordinator.

Being productive on the ball, as Awuzie was here, is a testament to just how athletic he is as a boundary cornerback though. A beat late recognizing the ball coming his way, Awuzie remained in perfect position to get a hand on this pass.

Doing so with an explosive leap off the ground and full extension, Awuzie snagged the ball with one hand before bringing it into his body to secure another turnover for the Cowboys first team defense.

The Cowboys cornerback depth proved suspect beyond Awuzie and Byron Jones in this game, but being as good as they already are on the boundary is a huge step in the right direction for Rod Marinelli's defense.

I also thought that UDFA Tyree Robinson did a great job answering the bell at safety, showing up a number of times in run support with the Cowboys in desperate need of depth at his position.

It's in the slot, where Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis continue to feel the pressure of competition, that the Cowboys are struggling to find the right starter - even trying Lewis on the outside well into the fourth quarter of this game.

 ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Cowboys will remain in their home state to conclude their training camp and preseason. Needing to see more out of their second and third team, practices will resume at The Star on Monday before another preseason game at AT&T Stadium.

This time, it will be the Arizona Cardinals coming in for a Sunday Night Football tune up. The Cowboys starters could very well see even more playing time than they have through the first two weeks, giving them a better chance of sustaining success and coming away with a preseason win.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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