|Jerry Jones says Jason Garrett's not going anywhere. (Getty Images)|
Much has been made about the possibility that Jerry Jones could bail on first-year Cowboys coach Jason Garrett if Dallas misses the playoffs, primarily because of the notable and numerous fourth-quarter collapses the Cowboys suffered this year.
However, our own Mike Freeman wrote Friday that there's a "zero percent" chance Garrett's fired, and he's not alone: Jones called the notion that he'd fire Garrett "ridiculous" regardless of the outcome of Sunday's NFC East championship game.
And since Jones is looking into his crystal ball, he's also ready to tell Cowboys fans this: not only will Tony Romo play Sunday, but he'll be 100 percent when he takes the field.
"He's going to be playing at full strength," Jones said on KRLD-FM Friday morning (via ESPN Dallas). "It's just a very big-time feel-good to know that we're going to be going in with this kind of quarterbacking. He's had an outstanding year. He's a top, top quarterback and he's got a good team around him. In my belief, a very good team around him, so the stage is set for us to play well in a big game."
Though Romo, who's listed as probable on this week's injury report, wore a wrap on his injured hand during practice Friday, ESPN Dallas reports that he likel won't wear any protection on his throwing hand Sunday, because the swelling has decreased.
"Romo is where we had dreamed that he would be and hoped he would be relative to after his injury last week," Jones said. "So I feel good there. It should be even better by Sunday night and he's getting good work in."
He feels the same way about his head coach. As in, Garrett is getting in good work and that he's not going anywhere.
"That's just ridiculous. We're just getting started with Jason," Jerry Jones said on 105.3 FM, per Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. "It's just not the case at all. Nobody is worried about the coach's job here. We'll answer this thing as many ways as you want to answer it with as many circumstances, his job has no bearing and is not a part of this ballgame.
"Yes, he's going to be our coach next year period no matter what the score is."
This isn't the first time Jones has gotten Garrett's back; two weeks ago, Jones said Garrett wasn't on the hot seat.
But Jerry's also said that not making the playoffs would be a "real serious career disappointment" given the way Romo's played in 2011. And Jerry also pulled a much-criticized move when he rolled down to the sidelines against Philly on Christmas Eve to inform Garrett that the game underway had been rendered meaningless.
(For my money, if you own an NFL team and preside as GM and the guy you're paying a lot of money to play quarterback gets hurt and the outcome of the game is rendered irrelevant, you can communicate with your coach in any manner you want. Call, write, send a carrier pigeon, record a message on the Cowboys Stadium Jumbotron. Whatever. It's your cash.)
Some folks believe Jones would consider taking a different route if Jeff Fisher is readily available and willing to come to Dallas, but does that really accomplish what Jerry wants (read: stability and success) in 2012? Because it might not.
Garrett's made some serious gaffes this year, as I've noted, but he's also coached great games at times, and he's arguably just a few fourth-quarter miscues from having the Cowboys well over 10 wins.
If Jones believes he's the long-term answer as a head coach -- and he clearly does -- then he can't bail on Garrett after just one year. Which is precisely why he won't.
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