Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sought to bring clarity to the Dallas coaching situation this week, but even as he offered a qualified endorsement of Coach Jason Garrett, he reminded everyone who’s the sheriff around these parts.

During a radio appearance, Jones declined to address the possibility of staff changes, but said he believes that Garrett, who is under contract for another season, would be snapped up immediately if he were on the open market. There had been reports that Garrett might receive an extension, but those landed before the Cowboys’ loss to the Rams on Saturday in an NFC divisional playoff game.

“I like the direction we’re going in. I don’t have any comments this morning about extensions because my options are open,” Jones said in his weekly appearance on Dallas' 105.3 The Fan. “Nobody knows, because I don’t know this morning, and I’m the last say.”

Despite Garrett’s 2-3 record in the playoffs, Jones had only kind words to say about his head coach, who just completed his eighth full season.

“If Jason Garrett had been out on the market two weeks ago, he would’ve had five offers for head coaching,” Jones said. “I know that.”

There seems to be some uncertainty in Dallas, though, with much of it surrounding Scott Linehan, the team’s offensive coordinator and playcaller. A lightning rod for criticism by fans who thought his plays were unimaginative, Linehan seemed secure when Garrett spoke with the media in his season-ending meeting Monday.

“We don’t anticipate any significant changes on our staff,” Garrett also told 105.3 (via the Star-Telegram).

Not long afterward, though, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones pumped the brakes, calling such talk premature on the same station on which Jerry Jones made his radio appearance the next day.

Against that backdrop, the elder Jones appeared to be reminding everyone where the buck stops.

“I reserve the right to change my mind when I hang this phone up,” he said. " . . . Why would I put some kind of statement out that says this is what we’re going to do when we might have an opportunity here next week? This is the time when these things are thought about, these things are chewed on, the time you may see an opportunity next week you didn’t know existed.”

Garrett has been the Cowboys’s coach since November 2010, when he succeeded Wade Phillips on an interim basis. He was given the job the following season. During his tenure, the Cowboys are 77-59 overall, with three playoff berths. When the Cowboys dipped to 3-5 during the 2018 regular season, there was speculation about his future, although the Cowboys rallied to win the NFC East title. By last week, NFL Network reported that Garrett and the team (read: Jones) were negotiating a long-term deal. Garrett is under contract through 2019.

Garrett, the Star-Telegram’s Mac Engel pointed out, is adept at getting talented players and developing them, even if his schemes can fall short. And never forget that he is also adept at navigating the political waters at the Cowboys' headquarters.

“Uh, you know, like with everything they’re all collaborative decisions,” Garrett told Engel. “I do not own the team. Jerry Jones owns the team. So ultimately he has the final say of everything we do, but I do believe our relationship is very collaborative. I have tremendous faith and trust in him and hopefully he has the same in me.”

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