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Despite no extension, Jerry Jones assumes Jason Garrett will stay


Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is working as a lame duck. And he’ll continue to work as a lame duck until the season ends.

Appearing Wednesday on ESPN, owner/G.M. Jerry Jones explained why Garrett hasn’t gotten a new contract. Along the way, Jones managed to throw a little shade at one of his more popular former head coaches.

“I just didn’t do it and didn’t want to -- that is, extend the contract,” Jones said. “Jason’s been coaching under the same contract actually for about seven years. I’ve got tremendous confidence in Jason Garrett’s growth and how he has evolved as head coach. And so that I felt when the time is right -- I didn’t think it was right to start the season. And so I felt when the time is right we’ll sit down and extend his contract. . . .

“We’ve paid a price and always do for a coach that’s learning. Just think, I’ll give you one example, Jimmy Johnson. We won one football game in his first year being a pro football head coach. So coaches grow, coaches evolve. I’m glad that we’re gonna get a chance to have the benefit of the experience and the growth that Jason Garrett has shown.”

That’s fine, but without a new contract, someone else may be getting the benefit of the experience and growth. Indeed, Jones’ explanation should be viewed by other teams with vacancies as an endorsement of Garrett as a guy who has worked out all the kinks on the Cowboys’ watch, and who’s ready to become a successful head coach with a new team.

There’s one way for Jones to avoid that. He can extend the contract now or, at the latest, immediately after the season ends. By then, however, it possibly will be too late.