Is Jerry Jones going to realize that he has to fire Jason Garrett? I know even you guys are tired of the same result every season.
Nick: I think he will realize that. But I don't think it's not going to be when you want it to happen. It sounds like Jerry will let a fourth non-playoff year go by for Garrett. And yes, you're right about us being tired of the same results. It's old. It's predictable. And it's getting hard to write new stuff about the same ending. Personally, when I heard Tony Romo had a back injury that would keep him out of the game, I thought it saved Jason Garrett's job for sure. If you win the last one without him, he's definitely back. And if you lose a close game without him, he probably gets a pass. Especially the way it ended because I think Tony Romo wins that game, if you get the same defensive effort. I think with Romo, Witten and Ware all having closing windows, I think he sticks with Garrett and lets them go for it one more time. I think Garrett returns with two coordinators.
Rowan: You're not going to want to hear this, but I don't think that's going to happen. It can be Jerry speak to say one thing and truly believe another, but based on a body of his comments from recently and how he feels about Garrett, I don't think that's going to be the result. It's becoming more difficult to justify the progress being made, but he is the guy that ownership wants as the leader of the group. There will be changes made, I just don't think it will be at the head coaching spot.
David: Jerry seemed pretty firm after this game that he doesn't need a new head coach. He's endorsed Garrett several times in the past month or so, and a two-point loss without Tony Romo doesn't seem likely to change that approval rating. It almost seems like firing Garrett would be to admit that this team needs a massive overhaul, rather than a few tweaks. With the Cowboys continually coming so close to the postseason, I don't think the front office believes that to be the case – even if a lot of you who write in to this mailbag tend to disagree.
SASEBO (JAPAN), MP
I hate to admit this, but it looks like the window for a championship may have closed for this group with the heartbreaking loss on Sunday night. Other than Jason Hatcher, who do you think the Cowboys cut ties with/lose to free agency this offseason? Do you foresee yet another defensive coaching change?
Nick: Based off my last answer, yes I think we see a change on defense but maybe not anyone new. Rod Marinelli could be the choice if Monte Kiffin is replaced. As for Hatcher, I think he's out the door and will sign with someone else, even if the offer by the Cowboys was relatively close. I think he's ready to get out of here. But he certainly played a great game if that was his last one. I think Miles Austin's last play with the Cowboys resulted in an interception. I don't know about anyone else. Still trying to figure out that 2-point conversion decision.
Rowan: Hatcher's the biggest name among players entering free agency with this group, along with Anthony Spencer, who was on the franchise tag and many forget is still around. They'll have to get creative cap-wise to keep either of these guys. I imagine this could be the end with the Cowboys for Miles Austin, and DeMarcus Ware might be asked to take a cut. Dan Bailey's contract is up, but I expect they'll find a way to keep him. Other notable players whose future is more cloudy are Danny McCray, Ernie Sims and Chris Jones. They'll have to keep in mind Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray among a long list of players whose contract is up after next year.
David: I think the defense stays with a 4-3 scheme, but it will be under new supervision. Hatcher is almost certainly gone, as is Miles Austin. If anything, Anthony Spencer's injury might make him more affordable to return, but he may seek a new start. I don't know how they'll do it cap-wise, but the Cowboys once again should look toward adding to their linebacker corps in free agency. I think we're going to be learning a lot of new names on the defensive side of the ball in 2014, while the offense looks likely to return all of its key components.