FRISCO, Texas – So we hurry up and wait.
And while we do wait, most impatiently, for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' decision on Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and his expiring contract, let's have a short history lesson.
In 1998, when the Cowboys parted ways with head coach Barry Switzer, Jones did not announce hiring Chan Gailey to coach the Dallas Cowboys until Feb. 12, nearly two weeks after the Super Bowl.
In 2000, after Jerry decided to move on from Gailey after seasons of 10-6 and 8-8, he didn't name Dave Campo head coach until Jan. 26, the week of the Super Bowl. And, by the way, since Jones knew after three consecutive 5-11 seasons under Campo he was going to make a change as soon as the season was over, he quickly hired Bill Parcells, as a matter of fact, 17 years ago to today, Jan. 2, 2003.
In 2007, after Bill Parcells decided to retire once again on Jan. 22, Jones took his ever-lovin' time, seemingly conducting interviews with more than a half-dozen candidates before deciding on Wade Phillips as the franchise's seventh head coach on Feb. 8, four days after the Super Bowl.
So that it's now only four days since the end of the 2019 season and we have not had an announcement on Garrett's future as of 5 p.m. on Thursday would seem not that unusual to those of us who have been around for all these changes.
And guess what? You know there are teams out there not only looking for a head coach and a general manager. Well, think about it this way: The Cowboys already know who their general manager is.
Now take that shot, with a few more on the way.
- Roster Repair: Not sure can remember the last time, or if ever, the Cowboys had this many players headed for unrestricted free agency. Now 25 by my count. Again, free agency does not begin until the first day of the new league year, which this year will be March 18, seemingly a tad later than usual. And for the Cowboys, this date is important, too. March 10 is the deadline for the franchise and transition tags. That means, the Cowboys have until then to either get a long-term deal done with Dak and/or Coop, or both, or tag them to retain right of first refusal, along with draft choice compensation tied to the franchise tag.
- Top 10: Once again, when it comes total yards, the Cowboys are one of just three teams to finish in the top 10 in total offense and total defense. As pointed out before, this is the first time the Cowboys have finished No. 1 in total offense since 1977, having finished second in 1992 and 1993 and then again in 1978 and 1979. Once upon a time the Cowboys were regulars with the No. 1 offense – 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971 and 1974. Now their ninth-place finish in total defense is their third straight, having finished eighth in 2018, seventh in 2018 and now ninth, somewhat of a step back.
- About Face: When it comes to schedules, back in 2018 when the Cowboys finished first in the NFC East, they also had to face the first-place finishers in the NFC South and the NFC West while playing all the teams in the NFC North. That meant the Cowboys had to play Green Bay (13-3) and the LA Rams (13-3), defending NFC champs. This year, while finishing second in the East, they will play the corresponding finishers in the NFC North and NFC South, meaning the 10-6 Vikings and the 7-9 Falcons. Also, while playing the AFC North, only Baltimore (13-3) finished with a winning record, then Pittsburgh (8-8), Cleveland (6-10) and Cincinnati (2-14). But then, that evens out since three of the four teams they will play from the NFC West finished with winning records, San Francisco (13-3), Seattle (11-5) and the Rams (9-7), followed by Arizona (5-10-1). This also means the Cowboys will be playing six games against 2019 playoff teams: Baltimore, San Francisco, Seattle, Minnesota, and Philadelphia twice.
- The Ball, The Ball: Unfortunately, the Cowboys aren't like the little kid who doesn't get his way and takes his ball and goes home. The Cowboys barely take anyone's ball and goes to the sideline. When it came to takeaways, the Cowboys with seven interceptions finished dead last, tied with Arizona (5-10-1) and Detroit (3-12-1). And when it came to total takeaways, the Cowboys had just 17, only Oakland, Miami, Cincinnati, the Giants and the Chargers had fewer.
And now, we just hurry up and wait.