Is Jason Garrett Getting Fired? Dallas Cowboys Have a 'Very Real Interest' in Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer is reportedly edging closer to replace Jason Garrett as the next Dallas Cowboys head coach.

Garrett's seat got even hotter on Thursday night, as the Cowboys lost 31-24 on the road against the Chicago Bears, racking up a third consecutive loss and slipping to 6-7.

The defeat leaves Dallas still top of the NFC East and the team would remain in the lead even if the Philadelphia Eagles move to 6-7 with a win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football by virtue of defeating the Eagles in October.

The Cowboys are on a three-game losing streak for the second time this season and owner Jerry Jones again questioned why a talented roster was not delivering results.

"These guys are mentally OK for me, and all these guys are talented enough for me, so that's good," Jones was quoted as saying by ESPN.

"I'm questioning how to put together a coordinated one that complements each other, how to put together a team that can win a football game. [...] We're not collectively getting together as a team and doing the things it takes to win ballgames."

Jones reiterated that Garrett will remain in charge until the end of the season, a point he had first made last week, when the Cowboys lost at home to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving Day.

However, according to Jane Slater of NFL Network, Dallas has a "real interest" in Meyer, who has already spoken to Stephen Jones, Jerry's son and Cowboys CEO.

Jerry Jones says Jason Garrett will remain the coach but I can confirm a very real interest in Urban Meyer. In fact, I'm told Stephen Jones spoke with him recently. Lincoln Riley remains a strong candidate & file this name as a possibility Clemson OC Tony Elliott per sources.

— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) December 6, 2019

The former Ohio State head coach was installed as the bookmakers' favorite to replace Garrett as early as November 25.

According to BetOnline, at 3/1 Meyer is the leading candidate to be in charge of the Cowboys in Week 1 of the 2020 season, followed by New England's offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels at 4/1.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley—who was also among the names mentioned by Slater—and San Francisco's defensive coordinator Robert Saleh are both at 5/1, while New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is a 6/1 shot.

Should, as it seems increasingly inevitable, Jones fire Garrett at the end of the season, almost every coach in the NFL and college football is likely to be linked with the job at one stage or the other.

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Garrett, head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, signals from the sidelines during the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 5 in Chicago, Illinois. Stacy Revere/Getty

As far as the Cowboys are concerned, Meyer has the significant advantage of being available immediately.

The 55-year-old has a career record of 187-32 and has won three nationals titles to go with seven conference titles—two each in the Mountain West and the SEC and three in the Big Ten—during his spells with Utah, Florida and Ohio State.

Firmly committed to the spread offense throughout his career, it would be fascinating to see how Meyer's approach fares in the NFL, particularly on a roster as loaded with offensive talent as Dallas'.

Despite losing the last three games, the Cowboys are still in pole position to make the playoffs—FiveThirtyEight's statistical projections give them a 59 percent chance—which Jones insisted was the main goal at this stage of the season.

"Are you asking me if I would take the division and go to the playoffs, if we got in on any basis? The answer is yes. Absolutely, yes," Jones said.

"Acceptable? I don't know. Not if we're not playing good, but if we're playing a lot better than we played tonight, I'll take getting in."

Garrett is 83-66 since taking charge of the Cowboys midway through the 2010 season but his contract runs out at the end of the season.

The 53-year-old, however, dismissed the suggestion his players had given up on him.

"I just see how they come to work every day," Garrett said. "I see how they practice, and unfortunately we didn't carry the practice work to the game."