OXNARD, Calif. — California and the Cowboys have a love affair in full bloom. The team has trained in California 41 times in total. TheCowboys west coast preseason home provides an ideal environment to prepare for the season.

But where’s the love for the head coach???

During the state of the team press conference Friday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones faked as though he couldn’t hear the question when asked what it would take for Garrett to still be around after the season.

“What did you say?” Jones asked. "I’m sorry I really didn’t hear you.”

After the question was repeated, Jones said, “I really didn’t hear you. We’ve got a damn drill going on back over there.”

Jones then flashed a grin, and said, “Next question."

While Jones clearly had fun with the moment, it’s no laughing matter for Garrett. Jones opted against a contract extension forcing Garrett to coach out the final year of his contract and ignore all the talk about it.

"A lot of people talk about eliminating distraction and outside noise,” said tight end, Jason Witten. "I've been around Jason for 12 years. I don’t know anybody that does that better than him."

Garrett’s tunnel vision will be put to the test because apparently just being close to good enough won’t be enough moving forward.

Garrett has led the Cowboys to 3 division titles. But each of those seasons ended in division-round playoff losses.

Garrett must own those failures. But turning last year’s 3-and-5 start into a division title is what his players say is emblematic of Garrett’s leadership, going all the way back to when he took over the job mid-season in 2010.

"A lot of people say you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable and I think back to when he took over on a Monday as interim head coach you know, he thrives in those moments,” said Witten.

Linebacker Jaylor Smith agrees, “he’s a great coach and we live by his rule man. He’s a guy that respects us and we respect him and it’s all about getting the job done we want to win.”

Garrett has been more vocal this camp, with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore in his first year in that role. There’s quiet confidence this team can be special, but for Garrett sake, we need to see it now.

"He knows what’s at stake and you can see how passionate he is on the details of what’s going to allow us to be successful and he’s relayed that to his football team this entire off-season

Meanwhile, Jones is matter-of-fact about it, "I expect us to be better,” said the owner. "Let’s see what’s ahead."

Garret coached in the final contract year, winning a divisions title. But this time around that apparently won’t be enough to keep this love affair going.