If Jason Garrett was truly on the hot seat on the heels of a two-game slide going into Week 6, it can be assumed the chair beneath him is now engulfed in flames after dropping three straight -- the most recent being to the previously winless New York Jets. For the third straight week, the Cowboys offense came out flat and fell short despite a furious attempt to rally late in the game.
A missed field goal by Brett Maher didn't help, but nor did a returned Sam Darnold lighting up the defense for 338 yards and two touchdowns, when the clock reached all zeroes at MetLife Stadium. No matter how you slice it, the bullseye painted on the back of Garrett by the court of public opinion is now a pulsating grid of red LEDs, and mostly because he's not been able to galvanize the team in the first half of the last three contests.
All but one game of Week 6 is in the books and there's a lot to go over, so be sure to check out Ryan Wilson, John Breech, Sean Wagner-McGough and myself break everything down on the latest episode of the Pick Six Podcast. Listen to the full show below and subscribe here for your daily dose of NFL goodness.
Currently sitting at 3-3, the Cowboys are still tied atop the NFC East, though, and that's enough to keep owner Jerry Jones from considering a change atop his coaching pyramid -- despite Garrett now being at .500 nearly midway through his contract year.
"I haven't even come close to those future-type considerations," Jones said following a 24-22 loss to the Jets that happened on his 77th birthday. "...I'm looking at future as next week against those Eagles. I'm looking next week against our division."
It wasn't a good week for the Eagles either, having lost to the Minnesota Vikings in a 38-20 spanking. The winner of the Week 7 matchup will have sole ownership of the top NFC East spot for now, but by only one game. It's a muddled division that has no clear runaway contender, and that helps the Cowboys chances going forward -- although the failure of others is not exactly the best measure of one's own success.
Nonetheless, it's a game the Cowboys have to have as they stare at a bye week thereafter, and it's one they won't get if they can't clean up the serial drops and execution errors that have plagued them for much of the last month. Those, along with a list of injuries to star players, are added reasons Jones isn't apt to toss Garrett out the door like Uncle Phil did DJ Jazzy Jeff.
"If you really look at it, you can't take one thing," Jones said. "It could be a list of 15 things, with some maybe having more of an emphasis on the player, the execution, the staff -- across the board. We did not play well enough to win. Had we been able to tie this thing up or win at the end, it wouldn't be because we played well.
"You guys would be writing about a team that did not play well [but] won a game."
In the end, Jones doesn't feel like the Cowboys are contenders right now, but he believes there's plenty of time to make it so.
"Am I thinking that this is what we are going to be or what we can do with our 10 games that we have remaining, and here we are leading the NFC East? No, not at all," Jones said. "I'm going to look at the things we're doing right. And we'll get a good look at making the adjustments on things that haven't gone [well]."
"I hope that someday this season we could be one of the top teams. We're certainly not tonight. But I hope that we can do better than just win our division, although I'll take that right now under this circumstance. But I would hope we could get up there and get a little special positioning in the playoffs."
It's not far-fetched to believe the Cowboys could win a struggling NFC East, but the question then becomes -- what can they do, if anything, in January? By the looks of it going into Week 7, the answer is not much. For Jones, though, swapping out the head coach isn't the answer while still in the playoff hunt.
He does want to see all of the errors fixed, but won't place 100 percent of the blame on Garrett.
"I was a lot happier with what he did the first three games than what's happened the last three games," Jones said. "But the big thing I want to say is -- it's not just him."
For Garrett, it's about getting back to the drawing board to figure out how to regain the team's winning ways. The last thing on his mind at the moment, is if he'll be fired anytime soon.
"I don't really think about that," he said, via 105.3FM the Fan on Monday. "I just make sure I do my job as well as I can do it."
Time will tell exactly how the latter manifests on the football field for a suddenly dejected Cowboys roster, and if the tide doesn't turn in a big way, just how long Jones will choose to stare at the iceberg before instructing his mega-yacht to finally change course.