Tom Landry reached the championship game in his eighth season. Jimmy Johnson did it in his fourth.
Jason Garrett enters his eighth full season seeking his first NFC Championship Game as a coach.
While Terrell Owens questioned why the Cowboys coach still has a job
“I think you’ve got to be able to give a head coach time,” Johnston said on DFW’s Fox4, via the Dallas Morning News. “It’s one of the great things John Madden said, and this was about the San Francisco 49ers when they moved away fr om Steve Mariucci, but they had no plan after that. Sometimes you do that and all of a sudden you find yourself in a decade of mediocrity, and in San Francisco’s case, not even mediocrity. That was a tough decade. They made a change for change’s sake and nobody was there.
“Jason Garrett, in my opinion, moving forward gives Dallas the best opportunity. They’ve got that window right now with a quarterback and a very talented running back on rookie contracts. To make a change right now
The Cowboys have made the playoffs twice since Garrett replaced Wade Phillips during the 2010 season. They went 1-1 in 2014, losing at Green Bay in the divisional round in the controversial Dez Bryant catch/no-catch game, and lost to the Packers at home in the divisional round in 2016 when they were the top seed.
Dallas is 67-53 in the regular season with Garrett, who would appear to be on the hot seat with the Cowboys failing to reach the postseason last year.
“There’s an ebb and flow,” Johnston said. “I think everybody has to take a step back when you have a tough season. When Dallas has struggled and they haven’t been able to follow up a good season with another good season, there’s been a pretty glaring reason why that hasn’t happened.”
Johnston expects the Cowboys to “surprise” a lot of people this season.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Whenever Andy Dalton is spotted by a Bills fan, he’ll hear another “thank you” for helping Buffalo break its long streak of playoff futility.
This weekend, Dalton and his foundation are saying “thank you” in return.
Dalton became one of the most popular sports figures in Buffalo on New Year’s Eve when his 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with 49 seconds left sent the Bengals to a 31-27 win in Baltimore. The fourth-down pass eliminated the Ravens and gave the Bills their first playoff appearance since 1999.
Buffalo’s playoff drought was the longest in the NFL and the longest among the four major professional sports in North America. Immediately, Dalton began getting donations to his foundation from fans in Buffalo. He’s been thanked in person countless times by Bills fans over the months.
“I’ve heard I should run for mayor,” Dalton said . “I’ve heard I’ll never have to pay for anything in Buffalo. So we’ll see.”
It wasn’t a fad. Donations continued after the Bills lost their playoff game against Jacksonville. So have the in-person shows of gratitude.
“If I go anywhere and there’s somebody from Buffalo, they’re going to come up to me and tell me they’re a Bills fan or they come from Buffalo or have some tie to Buffalo,” Dalton said. “That hasn’t gone away since the play happened.
“It’s really cool and crazy that it’s a completely different fan base that has a lot of love for me, and obviously for Tyler, too.”
On a fourth-and-12 play, Dalton found Boyd open just inside the Ravens 25-yard line. The receiver slipped through an attempted tackle on his way to the winning touchdown, which set off a wild celebration in the Buffalo locker room.
Dalton said that as of this week
Boyd estimates he has received more than $100,000 in donations that went to a youth sports league in his hometown of Clairton, Pennsylvania.
Dalton thinks the Bengals will be warmly welcomed Sunday when they take the field for the third preseason game. The teams have deepened their connection in the offseason: The Bengals traded with the Bills for left tackle Cordy Glenn and signed linebacker Preston Brown, and the Bills signed former Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron and center Russell Bodine.
“If you’re looking at social media, I think there will be a pretty good ovation,” Dalton said.
Bills coach Sean McDermott is touched by how fans have responded to Dalton, and also by how the Bengals quarterback is giving back to Buffalo.
“What a strong moment
“But what a great testament to paying it forward and what Andy and his wife have decided to do and give back to our community that gave to them.”
FOCUS ON LINE: The right side of the Bengals’ offensive line struggled against the Cowboys last week, but coach Marvin Lewis was upbeat about it Wednesday, saying the line overall is much better than a year ago.
“I feel really good wh ere we are, no doubt about it,” Lewis said.
MUM ON EIFERT: Lewis declined to tip his hand whether tight end Tyler Eifert would make his preseason debut in Buffalo. He had another back procedure last season and wasn’t cleared to practice when training camp opened. Eifert was one of only three active Bengals who didn’t get into the game at Dallas.