The Eagles are off this weekend as they wait to see if they’ll retain sole possession of first in the NFC East, and the Redskins don’t play until Monday night.
With that in mind, I figured I’d look at a side aspect of this crucial Cowboys-Giants matchup in East Rutherford, N.J.
It’s been lost in the shuffle of this week’s storylines, but Jerry Jones’ endorsement of Jason Garrett’s future with the Cowboys draws to mind some interesting parallels for Dallas’ third-year coach.
It’s been just more than three years – Nov. 14, 2010 was the exact date – since Garrett coached his first game as the Cowboys coach. Six days prior, Wade Phillips had been fired following a 45-7 shellacking at the hands of Green Bay.
The loss sent the Cowboys into a 1-7 hole, and it offered Garrett an audition as interim head coach. A week later, he led the team to a 33-20 win against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
I asked Garrett if he thought about that game at his Thursday morning press conference. It’s pretty interesting to think almost three years to the day after he won his first game, he goes into the same situation needing a win to maintain the Cowboys’ spot in the playoff race.
For his part, Garrett said he’s too focused on this week’s game to think about the one he won three years ago. That’s to be expected.
But it is interesting that we’re hearing questions and comments about Garrett’s own job security, as he prepares to go to the same place where he got his first taste of the top job.
Jones said on Thursday morning that the Cowboys’ ability to reach the playoffs this season will not determine Garrett’s job status. He went on to say that Garrett will be the team’s head coach in 2014.
But with six weeks left in the season, I’d be stunned if we’ve heard the last of that line of questioning – and it could begin again as early as Sunday evening if New York gets the best of Dallas at MetLife Stadium.