It’s never good to write after a big game, especially one that your team loses. There are just too many negative emotions stirring within most of us to write objectively…or sanely. And after Sunday night’s loss to the Washington Redskins, which cost them yet another playoff berth, the Dallas Cowboys will be bombarded with enough negativity for a lifetime without the need of me adding to it. Regardless of my current emotions, I still believe the Cowboys must show head coach Jason Garrett the door.
There is little doubt that quarterback Tony Romo will bear the brunt of the criticism for Sunday’s loss since it was his three interceptions that changed the momentum of the game. But his supporters will argue that Romo was the sole reason the Cowboys even had a chance to make the playoffs in the first place. The defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and the play of the Dallas defense could also be blamed. Or maybe we just suffered too many injuries. But for me, the one negative constant has been Garrett and his play-calling and questionable decision making, I believe coaching a storied franchise like the Dallas Co0wboys should never be on-the-job training.
My biggest fear is that Garrett will keep his job because of the injuries suffered this year. Maybe owner and GM Jerry Jones figures the Cowboys under Garrett could do better then 8-8 if only we could stay healthy. Unfortunately, the Cowboys offensive problems will remain because it’s still the inexperienced Air Garrett calling plays in Dallas. And Garrett has a history of mediocrity.
Garrett was originally brought on as head coach mid-season to enforce a “culture change” that was lacking under former coach Wade Phillips. Phillips ran a loose ship, which resulted to a 1-7 start back in 2010. Garrett took over and the Cowboys finished the season 5-3. Since then, it’s been two back to back 8-8 seasons, losing playoff determining final games in both years.
There was definitely a culture change in Big “D” under Garrett. One that made the players more disciplined and focused. Unfortunately, it was missing a critical aspect: a winning pedigree. It’s hard to instill if you’ve never experienced it. And it is something Garrett has never experienced as a coach.
For those of you that have argued that Garrett is a young coach and still learning on the job in only his second full season, I say this: The Jason Garrett Experiment started six year ago, not two. And six years of playoff mediocrity is more than enough, thank you.
Garrett was brought back to Dallas, this time as a coach, back in 2007 as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator. He was a highly touted assistant despite a shocking lack of coaching experience or success.
Before retiring after a 13-year career as a bench-warming quarterback, Garrett served as quarterback coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006 under then head coach Nick Saban. Remember, he had never coached before. Not even little league. Those Dolphin teams finished 9-7 and 6-10 respectively, missing the playoffs both years. Garrett coached quarterback Gus Frerotte in 2005 and the failed return of quarterback Dante Culpepper in 2006.
Loyalty and potential seems to be the only reasons why Garrett was hired in Dallas in the first place. It did initially pay off as Dallas went 13-3 in his first year as the offensive coordinator.In 2008, Garrett was the highest paid assistant in the NFL after one single year of real success. 9-7 and 11-5 seasons followed under head coach Phillips.
It’s clear Jones wanted Garrett as the Cowboys next head coach since 2008. Unfortunately after taking over the “big” chair his inexperience has cost the Cowboys games. And he has been unable to repeat the success of his predecessor, Phillips. Did you ever think you’d wish for Wade Phillips back? Me neither…but his records were better. See Jason, playing for great coaches doesn’t make you a great coach, no matter how much you want it.
Obviously, you’ll need to replace Garrett with someone who can win now. Names like Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden should begin flying around Valley Ranch like vultures. Long time New York Giant’s defensive coordinator Perry Fewell or Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmerman could also be potential replacements, but Jones will want to make a splash.
The recent resigning of Sean Payton is disconcerting. His name would be on everyone’s lips today as a possible replacement if he hadn’t resigned with the New Orleans Saints.
But all signs right now point to Jones sticking with Garrett for another year. If that’s true, it’s a mistake. If a better coach can be had, it’s time to cut those strings. The window is not only closing Jerry, it’s barely cracked. The Boy’s needs a head coach that can steer the ship towards winning, not just keep it afloat.