His future uncertain all season, Jason Garrett is set to have his contract expire after the Cowboys' fourth 8-8 finish in his nine years as head coach. Dak Prescott is set to become an unrestricted free agent, although the Cowboys will use the franchise tag on the quarterback if they are unable to reach an extension with him.
Garrett told 105.3 The Fan on Monday that he will be meeting with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones later in the day, following a team meeting set for noon CT.
The Cowboys could have as many as 26 players enter unrestricted free agency, including key contributors such as receiver Amari Cooper, cornerback Byron Jones, tight end Jason Witten, linebacker Sean Lee, defensive end Robert Quinn, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, safety Jeff Heath and receiver Randall Cobb.
Beyond Garrett, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, passing game coordinator Kris Richard and special-teams coordinator Keith O'Quinn are among the assistants whose deals end as well.
Garrett's status, however, tops the list.
"I'm not going to get into it at all, an evaluation or an assessment," Jerry Jones said. "I'm not. I'm going to do exactly what I always do and get up, go forward and do the best job that I can. We'll make those decisions accordingly."
Washington, Carolina and Cleveland are set to begin coaching searches soon, but that will not impact Jones' timetable on a decision, he said.
"What other teams are doing, I'm not concerned about from a timing standpoint," Jones said. "I'm just not concerned about it. They can hire every name you've heard tonight, I'm not concerned."
Throughout the season, Garrett brushed off talk about his future and attempted to do the same Sunday.
"I want to be the coach of the Dallas Cowboys," said Garrett, who has a career mark of 85-67. "We will see what happens."
Does he think he will be the Cowboys' coach in 2020?
"I have no idea," Garrett said.
Barring something unforeseen, Prescott will be the Cowboys' quarterback next year. A franchise tag could cost the Cowboys anywhere from $27 million to $33 million. He set career highs in touchdown passes (30) and passing yards (4,902) while starting every game for the fourth straight season. His passing total was 1 yard shy of Tony Romo's single-season team record. Prescott said he never thought about the contract during the season and is not about to think about it now.
"When those talks come and when that happens, it happens; it'll be a blessing," Prescott said. "But that's not why I play this game. I play this game for the love of it. My first love as an individual, and I'm committed to those guys in the locker room, my teammates. And that's what wakes me up every day, that's what gets me going ... I play it with passion, and I put so much into it. It has nothing to do with a contract or money. So I'm not thinking of that."
Prescott was at times emotional as he spoke, especially when acknowledging what Garrett and Witten have meant to his career. Leading into the Washington game, Witten said he would make a decision on his playing career.
Witten, who turns 38 in May, finished with 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns in his return to the Cowboys after spending last season as ESPN's Monday Night Football analyst.
"One of the best decisions I made was listening to my gut and coming back to play," Witten said, fighting through emotions. "I'm sure that decision can get picked apart a million different ways, but I'm really proud I played, and I love this game. This game's given so much to me."
Witten opened his postgame remarks by apologizing to the fans for the team's failures. The Cowboys entered the season with Super Bowl expectations, but after a 3-0 start, their season devolved into weekly inconsistencies as they lost eight of their next 13 games.
The Cowboys had a chance to make the playoffs if the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New York Giants. Only once did the score of that game appear on the digital board above the field. It showed the Eagles and Giants tied in the third quarter.
Late in the fourth quarter, word reached the sideline that Philadelphia would win.
As the coaches and players walked from the field to the locker room, barely a word was spoken.
"It's unbelievable," Jones said. "We blew people out, and we couldn't get out of our own way at times. Inconsistent, I've heard that word used a lot. The inconsistencies that are involved with this season are mind-boggling. But that's what this time is about, beginning right now, is to really reflect back on it and look and see how we can make improvements. We made a lot of coaching changes to start this year. A lot of coaching changes. And I went in thinking that was a strength of ours, those coaching changes.
"Now, I knew and said at the time that I wanted the exuberance of young coaches and coaches that would basically go for it, try things. I didn't want them being conservative in light of the fact that they didn't have experience. I think that there's no question that our lack of experience -- and I had thought that Jason, with his experience, could be a great safety net for them -- there was just too much to catch this season."