Despite slide, Jerry Jones stood by his coach

There is at least one thread that ties together the teams involved in this offseason’s most stunning head-coaching changes.

Denver — at one point it was just one win or one San Diego loss away from clinching the AFC West — crashed and burned down the stretch, costing Mike Shanahan his job.

Tampa Bay — once 9-3 and on its way to the postseason — crashed and burned down the stretch, costing Jon Gruden his job.

The New York Jets — once 8-3 and on their way to the playoffs — crashed and burned, costing Eric Mangini his job.

The only team that had a playoff spot in its grasp, flopped and didn’t fire its head coach was none other than the Dallas Cowboys.

Who would have thought Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would become the model of patience? But that’s exactly what has happened. At a time some were calling for Wade Phillips’ job, Jones stood firm and stood still. He changed nothing.

But it’s also a sign that Jones will not be patient much longer, not when Dallas’ situation is compared to that of other teams.

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