Despite questions about being on the hot seat entering the 2018 season, it is not 'playoffs or bust' for Jason Garrett in Dallas. So says Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
"No. That's the best answer I can give, and the fairest," Jones said when asked on Wednesday, via the team's official website.
The vote of confidence for Garrett -- who perpetually vacillates from hot seat to pervasive praise seemingly by the year -- heading into an uncertain 2018 campaign isn't new. The Cowboys owner has backed the coach through lean years.
"As you well know, you've heard me say many times on a personal basis, if I may be so bold, I'd say he's a lot better coach today than he was last year or the year before that or the year before that. That's the way it works when you are driven and motivated," Jones said.
Garrett owns a 67-53 record in seven and a half seasons as Dallas' coach, but just two ended in playoff appearances. Garrett is coming off the first back-to-back winning seasons of his coaching career.
"I'd say our coach and our coaching staff are the No. 1 reason that I'm excited about what we have ahead of us this year," Jones said. "They're going to get a chance, I think, to be at their profession, at the very best time, and that is with young players."
There is reason for optimism in Dallas. The Cowboys own a workhorse running back, franchise quarterback, bulldozing offensive line, an intriguing young secondary, and some talented -- if not perennially troubled -- pieces up front. Now it's on Garrett and his staff to coax the most out of that young talent, or Jones might adjust his candor.