Last month I made the very obvious observation that Jason Garrett has existed on the hot seat for longer than pretty much any coach in major sports and, as a result, has grown quite comfortable there. Living on the edge and amongst the rumors has become his homeostasis. Garrett and Jerry Jones have a Sam & Diane "will they or won't they" vibe that's pretty much ingrained in the franchise's DNA at this point.
But things have changed rather dramatically in recent weeks as the Cowboys continue to fail against playoff caliber teams, in turn tanking their own playoff hopes. Jones has said he won't be making any changes in-season, which is a pretty big modifier because there's an offseason.
It appears that finally, after all this time, Garrett truly is coaching for his job tomorrow against the Buffalo Bills. Maybe.
My take here is that it won't necessarily be tomorrow that decides the coach's future, it will be the next five games. Dallas is up a game in the division over Philadelphia. Maintaining that advantage should be enough for Garrett to stay gainfully employed. Failing to do so would surely mean curtains.
So while the result against Buffalo will go a long way in determining the NFC East winner, it isn't exactly the end-all, be-all. One gets the sense that Jones would love nothing more than for Dallas to steal a game in the playoffs so the perpetually warm seat can cool a bit. His patience and level-headedness toward the situation is pretty remarkable when one remembers how hot and cold the deep-pocketed owner is capable of running.
Tomorrow afternoon could be the end of an era or just another brick in the wall.