IRVING, Texas -- Jason Garrett will be back to start his fourth season as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys next year. That much seems clear.
What we don't know is how many of his assistant coaches will be back.
Garrett said his conversations with owner Jerry Jones concerning his job security were positive, and that he's focused on doing his job.
He would not say whether the team will stick with the current 4-3 defense installed by defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, or whether Kiffin will be back.
"We're not 24 hours out of playing our last ball game, so today was about meeting with our players," Garrett said. "Starting tomorrow, we'll go back and start evaluating different things; schemes that we use and personnel."
During their 8-8 season, Dallas gave up the first two 600-yard games in franchise history and allowed the first 40-first-down game in league history.
Garrett would not comment about Kiffin's future.
"I don't want to make those evaluations, we'll step back and evaluate the whole thing," Garrett said. "At different times this year, we played good defense. I think collectively, we have to step back and say we have to play better defense. Any evaluations like [changing the scheme] are completely premature."
Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones said on his radio show on 105.3 FM Monday that the biggest challenge the team has is to get a better roster -- especially the front seven on defense.
On offense, quarterback Tony Romo is recovering from two back surgeries in eight months. He will be 34 when he starts his next game for the Cowboys. Dallas is an aging team that can't afford to see their players lose hope.
"I think they understand the nature of this league," Garrett said. "That's not easy. You see a lot of teams who have success one year, and fall off the next year. You want to be consistently good and be a consistent playoff team."
In the meantime, Garrett said he'll continue to push forward.
"What you try to do is put your best foot forward, focus on the task at hand, and try to give yourself an opportunity to win and make the playoffs," he said. "What we need to do and the people who are involved is keep banging away, keep being persistent, keep giving ourselves opportunities and believing that we're going to break through and get to the next step."
Jerry Jones and Garrett hope his experience will eventually lead to bigger and better things.
"We need to find a way to take the next step to break through." Garrett said. "That's my job, that's my staff's job, it's everybody in the organization's job."