You'd think that would be cause for alarm for the Cowboys, who kept the faith in their head coach and were rewarded with a 12-4 season followed by Sunday's wild playoff win.
During a Wednesday appearance on ESPN, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones explained why Garrett's big 2014 has yet to produce enhanced job security.
"We've paid a price and always do for a coach that's learning," he added. "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."
The allusion to Jimmy Johnson is a strange one: The former Dallas coach was a proven winner at the college level and inherited a terrible Cowboys team, led by an extremely green rookie quarterback named Troy Aikman. Once Johnson had talent and some experience in his locker room, the Cowboys took off.
But Jones can't be faulted for not locking Garrett up with an extension sooner. Garrett had to prove his team could avoid another December collapse and make some noise in the playoffs. Garrett managed both, and he will get paid for it.