I promised myself that, regardless of the outcome of yesterday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the gist of my article would remain the same. That ‘gist’ was that Cowboy’s head coach, Jason Garrett’s offensive system and Cowboy’s QB, Tony Romo’s ‘Romo being Romo’ couldn’t co-exist well enough to have the kind of success that Jerry Jones and Cowboys Nation are yearning for.
I still agree with that, but for this week, anyway, they did. Not only that, but one of Garrett’s favorite terms: ‘All three phases’ also came up big in a back against the wall game featuring two dysfunctional teams that have circus music constantly playing in the background. We now know which team has more issues.
At some point, probably sooner than later, Jerry Jones is going to have to make a decision because of a dilemma of his own making. In Jerry’s zealousness to grab and incorporate Jason Garrett – in whom he sees his own Tom Landry – into the Cowboys organization, he grabbed Garrett before he was ready. That in it’s self is OK. Jason Garrett, by all evidence, was a genius coaching prodigy. If he wasn’t coaching the Cowboys, he would be coaching somewhere else in the NFL today. The thing is, the team situation wasn’t – and still isn’t – ideal. One of two other situations would have been much better.
Had Garrett been made head coach of a team that was starting from scratch, that would have been the most ideal. His coaching style is concept oriented and all encompassing, needing to filter thru the entire organization. He needs ‘the right kind of players’ and coaches that can articulate his complicated concepts in ‘all three phases’ of the team. In order for that to work best, he needs to be involved and influence everything team related from the ground up. Inheriting a team that someone else put together, particularly on the offense, only complicates and marginalizes Garrett’s potential success. What that coaching style is exactly and all the ramifications would require a lot more space – like a whole book. Suffice it to say that Garrett would need the team and his coaching staff to grow with him, so he can form and sharpen it as he forms and sharpens.
The other scenario where Garrett could achieve more success with his system, particularly again on offense, would be a team of smart, mistake limited, role players and a bus driver to lead them. In Garrett’s offensive system, he doesn’t need people to think outside the box or improvise. Just carry out his plays within the confines of his system and everything will be as he planned it. Why do you think that his most success as head coach came in his first 8 games with QB Jon Kitna driving the bus? Or why it seems that with Tony Romo at the helm, plays have to break down – allowing Romo to be Romo – to get the most out of his offense?
As currently assembled, this is not a mistake free team of roll players with a bus driver to lead them. That’s OK too. Neither are the NY Giants or the Denver Broncos or the Green Bay Packers. The San Francisco 49ers are, but Garrett does not possess the strong will the 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. It always seems to come down to two kinds of coach – either making a team in his image or being able to coach a team with some talented players and mold a team around that talent. Jason Garrett is the first kind of coach with a team that needs the second.
That being said, we can suspend all that theory for at least this week. Our Cowboys won, impressively, and got some rare turnovers on defense. This week, the Cowboys showed us a glimpse of what they are capable of. This week, Garrett let Romo be Romo, while Romo, for his part, played within Garrett’s system and did some bus driving until he needed to step outside Garrett’s box. It wasn’t mistake free football – too many penalties – again – but this week it worked, in all three phases.
Points and Observations:
-Rob Ryan’s defense is clearly, and by far, the best ‘phase’ of the Dallas Cowboys
-Felix Jones is making me eat my words. I’m fine with that, I hope he keeps it up
-Michael Vick was successful drawing the Cowboys offsides, I wonder how that would have affected the game had he been able to stay.
-We are still not using Cole Beasley near enough, what is that all about?
-Dez Bryant got some redemption on that spectacular touchdown reception, he needs about 300 more of those.
-Everyone is sayingthat the Cowboys have an easy schedule going forward, with losing teams and a bunch of home games. I’m not so convinced. First, I think we
proved that we can make any team look good, and Cowboys have zero home field advantage.
-That tackle dodging scramble in the 3rd quarter, ending with a 25 yard completion to WR Miles Austin was a beautiful thing – vintage Romo.