Jason Garrett just got a five-year extension to remain head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. But judging by the football odds, Garrett had better keep his resume updated.
We've been having some fun talking about which NFL head coach might get fired first. Earlier this month, the fine folks at Ladbrokes had Washington's Jay “Don't Call Me Jon” Gruden favored at 13-8. We decided to take Joe Philbin of the Miami Dolphins instead at 16-1. Our colleague Matthew Jordan was on the same page.
Looks like the NFL odds needed some adjusting. We figured Gruden was way too chalky at that price, and as we go to press, Ladbrokes appears to have taken down that prop bet. Meanwhile, BetOnline has Gruden favored at +400. That's much more reasonable. But we couldn't help but notice that Jason Garrett is available at +1600, even though he's signed a five-year extension with the Dallas Cowboys. Is there a fire at the end of this smoke?
Five Long Years
The Cowboys don't have much of a history as a coaching graveyard – although owner Jerry Jones seems to be working on that. One of the first things he did after buying the team in 1989 was fire long-time head coach Tom Landry. Since then, seven different men have appeared under the headset in Big D. Garrett is about to overtake Jimmie Johnson (five years) as the longest tenured of these coaches.
It's seems almost miraculous at this point. Garrett, who was a back-up quarterback behind Troy Aikman during the '90s, was a highly-regarded (and highly-paid) offensive co-ordinator for the Cowboys. But after Garrett took over the full-time head coaching gig in 2011, Dallas had three consecutive seasons at 8-8, and Garrett went into the 2014 campaign as the +300 favorite to be the first coach on the chopping block.
Wade, They Don't Love You Like I Love You
We all know what happened then: The Cowboys won the NFC East at 12-4 (10-6 ATS), and Garrett inked a five-year, $30-million extension in January. But would Jones be willing to eat that contract if Dallas got out to a poor start this season? That's what the boss did with Garrett's predecessor, Wade Phillips. He signed a two-year extension with the Cowboys after the 2009 season, but didn't even make past 2010 after Dallas began the season at 1-7 SU and ATS.
So at least we know the precedent has been set. For the purposes of our NFL picks, it's now a question of how poorly the Cowboys will perform this year. Quite frankly, we'd be very surprised if they spat the bit. This team is in a much better place than it was five years ago, with a strong offensive line giving QB Tony Romo the chance to post the best numbers of his career in 2014, including an NFL-best 69.9-percent completion rate. We're not saying the Cowboys will win 12 games again this year. We're just saying that Garrett's job looks very safe for now – especially compared to Philbin's.