Dec 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett during the second half against the Washington Redskins at FedEX Field. The Redskins won 28 - 18. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

The Jason Garrett Experiment Has Failed. Fire Him, Cowboys.


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.

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Tags: Bill Cowher Dallas Cowboys Jason Garrett Jerry Jones Jon Gruden Tony Romo Wade Phillips

  • Kurumba

    Individuals such as Tim McMahon are totally kidding everybody by writing that Washington will be quote “a force for years to come.” For one The Deadskins have forfeited First Rd Picks the next few drafts. That will hit them hard. Two there is OLD London Fletcher their team “Leader” who will soon be pensioned off. Three Defensive Co-Ordinators will soon realise that once you stop their running game Washington has very few good receivers. Let us see them against a true fighting side the Seahawks. Let us see how fat Head Morris fares and how Chicken Legs IV goes. Watch. Seattle is a special in this game. Seattle is not riddled with injuries and mans a tough Defensive Front who will hurt Morris and Chicken Legs IV. Chicken legs IV is already banged up and the Hawks will definetly give it to him. McMahon & Co need to realise that Dallas basically HANDED the match to the Deadskins. All they had to do was keep handing it off and wait for Romo to give them 3 crucial intercepts. Seattle will NOT be as giving and Morris, OldmanFletcher & Chicken Legs IV will be soundly buried in this match.

    • Mario Reynolds

      Chicken legs lv. Rotf

  • Kurumba

    Agree Totally. Garrett staying on will lead to the next Norv Turner & San Diego Chargers. Garrett has little coaching experience or knowledge and is too arrogant. Heck even Belichick has an Offensive Co-ordinator!!! Ryan too should go as he talks more than delivers results. Both of them are salesmen who only sell Snake Oil Cures and assorted Garbage.

    • frank

      Yes Ryan talks alot, but this team needs attitude, some old school football. I went to last weeks game and this team played soft on both sides. These are the Cowboys, JJ, they need a coach that will inspire, not an owner. I would have fired Garret last year for icing our kicker. He has been running this offense for a while and the offensive still is mediocre at best. What if you had a stiff for a quarterback, this team would be a 3-13 team.

      JJ, I have always been a die hard Cowboys fan, but will stay away until you start believing in Winning football games.

      Please, I will be watching the NFL Network today, only to hear that you have come to your senses and looking for a real coach!

  • Kevin Dylan

    Yes Romo will be the scapegoat. But with the proper coach Romo would never have been in such a position he was in during the 4th Quarter.
    Before the Cowboys scored a TD, Garrett was calling too many pass plays as his opponents know he will employ a simplistic strategy.
    When the Cowboys scored a TD, they did so with a combo of Running and passing. And a great coach wouldve adapted and hit the Skins with the same type of drives until if they can adapt.
    But Garrett went right back to the same old plan. And despite the fact that nearly every Cowboy loss in the last 2 years is a repeat of the same exact game, Garrett never seems prepared to deal with it.
    And Garrett never prepares the team to put pressure on their opposition by scoring first. Garrett’s team always allows their opponent to gain an advantage and without early pressure their opponents find a way to settle into their game.
    Anyone who thinks that Garrett can manage a World Championship is fooling their self.
    He cant even manage to win a division even when the other teams try to give it to him.
    Unfortunately, Jerry Jones is a very rich, very stupid man. And he will keep Garrett.
    Bryant, Romo, Whitten are doomed to lose as long as they play for Jones.
    If they want to win, they need to leave.

    • disqus_TnoALFdckG

      Being in the QB position means he has to makes decisions and as leader of the team the failure of the offense falls to him, Frankly he’s a good QB but not a great one. Why do I say that…well the proof is in the pudding. When the game or season hang in the balance…how does he usually do? Crash and burn is more often than not the out come. His decision making on the field is in a word awful. He throws into triple coverage, behind, underneath, and where there is no receiver to be found but I’ll be damned if a defensive player isn’t always there to catch it. He he flipping color blind? No…he simply is not a great QB…he should be a back up because of that but nothing more.

      • Kevin Dylan

        Romo does make mistakes but I would rate him higher as a QB than I would Garrett as a Coach. The bad and predictable play calling has played a much larger roles in his interceptions than some may think. As well as the unreliable O-Line.
        Garrett was a QB and it seems his team is focused only on QB and receiver. Special Teams, defense, O line are like an afterthought.
        Occasionally we see Brady or Peyton Manning in a game where their opponent constantly pressures them and we see them have their worst games. Even when Romo has time he usually didnt realize the line held until the play is over, so he still rushes as if pressured.
        So you have a rushed QB and a coach calling really predictable plays. On 80% or more of the Boys snaps the defense knows exactly whats coming.

        And as I said, nearly every Boys loss is a repeat of the one before. And in 2 years of Garrett we’ve seen no TEAM improvement. We’ve seen a bit of individual improvement only.
        Even if the Boys had beaten the Skins, a team with so many large holes and a weak Coach could not succeed in the playoffs just as the Skins are too weak to succeed.

        If they got a real head coach, with real experience right now, he’ll fix the problems and they win the division next year.

        • http://www.facebook.com/judy.d.inman Judy Daugherty Inman

          Very well said!

        • Luminator

          How many times did the Cowboys try to change the line over the past several years? Nothing has been working on offense. No running game, no blocking, I am totally surprised that Romo did not get seriously injured this year. It goes to show, that Romo is not the only reason for lack of team improvement. Romo was the only hope left. Like it or not, without Romo Dallas is 4-12.

      • Gary Hermenau

        Being in the QB position means he has to makes decisions and as leader of the team the failure of the offense falls to him???

        Where do you come from???? Decisions and as leadership belong to the headcoach, that’s why they HAVE coaches. If Romo isn’t a good QB, then the head coach shouldn’t have him out there.

      • luminator

        You like the easy answer and did not notice that Romo spent most of the season running away from defenders. Why don’t you blame the quarterback for not blocking, catching, and defending too? Football is a team sport, not a one man show.

    • frank

      Yes, Romo makes mistakes but he is constantly being pressured. Saying that, should he take a sack or throw the ball away? Saying that, if he would do either of the two, the offense would be deadlast in all categories. If Eli Manning or Tom Brady played for the Cowboys, they would be just as bad or worst they have all day to spot and throw to receivers.

  • ghostofakid

    While Garrett has his issues and Ryan is a blowhard, the only consistent component in the Dallas saga of failure is Jerry Jones. He has proven to be the worst owner in the NFL. He is saddled with the Curse of Tom Landry for firing Tom. Having early success with Johnson just convinced him he was a “Football guy”. Wrong Jerry, you are a great promoter but a lousy football guy. The Cowboys will not win another Super Bowl as long as Jones is alive. The Landry Curse will see to that.

  • tim

    He’s not the problem….Jerry Jones and romo are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/judy.d.inman Judy Daugherty Inman

      I agree Jerry Jones is but Romo is NOT the problem! He’s a great QB, Garretts play calling totally sucks.

  • blarghl

    Garrett will get another year. What gets overlooked is this team has been in rebuilding mode. Sure, JJ would never come out and SAY that in a million years, but look at the roster now as opposed to three years ago. Outside of the core players (Romo, Witten, Ware, Spencer, Ratliff) they’ve rebuilt most of the roster, and I think are heading in the right direction. They’ve dumped a lot of the declining players and big contracts (Gurode, Barber, Williams, Davis off the top of my head) and have focused on getting younger and building for the long term, and he will get at least one more year to continue this. Sure, we finished with another disappointing record, but I believe that’s impressive in and of itself considering how hard this team got hit with injuries this year. Now, I’m not going to blame all of the failings of this season on the injury bug, but man this team was just *devastated*, and still managed to claw and scratch their way to 8-8.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, Garrett has his faults and I am as upset with his play-calling as anyone. But I think there is a significant chance based on comments by him and Jerry that they will shift his play-calling duties to Bill Callahan, which I think will be a huge improvement. Garret will absolutely, 100% be on the hot seat next year, but he will be back. And, as hopeless as that sounds at the moment after such a big loss, it’s the right thing to do. Constantly churning coaches every two years is part of the reason why the team has been as mediocre as it has the past decade and a half.

    If they can address the glaring weaknesses on the team this offseason (OL and DL, depth at a few spots like RB and S) and keep the injuries down somewhere beneath “omg holy crap half the team is dead” levels next year, I think we’ll see a huge improvement. Just looking at this past game – if they could have reduced the number of times Romo got pressured directly up the middle from 1 out of every 2 or 3 plays to something like 1 in 5, and if we had either Carter OR Lee on the field, it would have been a much different story.

    • Artie C

      If the cowboys are rebuilding as you say, then they need to continue by letting Miles Austin and Jay ratliff go and not bring back FAs Felix jones, kevin Ogletree and a few others

      • blarghl

        I completely agree. I think they will look to trade Miles this offseason – he still has like 35mil cap hit spread out over the next four years or so, and we are hurting for cap space. I don’t feel like his production justifies the money, and think Harris can definitely step into the #2 role. However, he’s good enough that we could get something in value in a trade from a team desperate for a #1 WR (Miami?) – maybe a 2nd + a late round pick, or if we’re really lucky a 1st. (not that that would be a smart move for the other team, of course. but doesn’t mean it’s impossible).

        Ratliff is a tough call. He’s still a great player, and a leader on the team, but this year was definitely a step back for him. I think injuries + age are starting to catch up to him, and he’s hit the tipping point of his career. That being said, just because he’s starting to trend down doesn’t mean he can’t contribute. If the Josh Brent thing hadn’t gone down, I would feel a lot more comfortable cutting him, but as it stands who are we going to replace him with? At this point we’ll just have to see what they do in the draft, but my gut feeling is he’ll be here another year (although if we draft a NT early, I definitely think he’ll see reduced playing time)

        Felix is not very good anymore. He’s lost his burst, can never find a hole (in the rare occasion where the OL actually makes one), and is just… bad. That being said, he’s still better than the other backups at two very important things: blocking and blitz pickup. And as good as Murray is, I think they should just assume he will miss 5+ games due to injury and plan accordingly. I think it’s unlikely that Felix will be back, but there’s a chance they give him a one year deal.

        I am so very done with Ogletree and will be glad to see him go.

  • jrcowboy49

    I agree with your analysis but no coach worth their salt will work for our Idiot owner/GM. Sean Payton is testamony to that! A big part of the Cowboys failure begins and ends with Jerry Jones. With the dead cap money, cap penalties, and poor player selections in the draft over the years have hurt the opportunity to acquire greater players. I believe Sean would have been a great hire and he wants no part of JJ! Bill Cowher has been out of the game too long and Jon Gruden has realized he needs to get back to the game or become a Cowher. Gruden could be a good choice but JJ has to realize and accept his own limitations and get a real GM!

  • frank

    Start with Garrett, his coaching is mediocre at best. I am an IT geek and I know what his offense is running. Second, who has picked all of these offensive lineman, they need to get fired too. Last weeks game against the Saints, without Ware, Spencer did not even get close to Drew Breese, cut him too. This guy is over-rated. Could Cowboys not hire a personal trainer to prevent injuries, how could you have so many injuries, do they not do any homework on draft picks or is this a coaching issue. Keep Romo, yes he made mistakes but he was the only one competing at times, at least he was trying to win. Without him, this team really stinks. JJ, this team need changes in the worst kind of way.
    He was throwing the last pass and someone came in untouch, again. Murray should have at least try to strip the ball, instead of watching the other guy catch the ball. M. Irvin would never do that to T. Aikman.

  • DatDevil

    I have said for 3+ years that we will have as much talent as any team in the league and continually be mediocre as long as garrett is at the helm. Our biggest mistake was letting Payton go.

  • cpfoy28

    Well said garrett doesn’t get half the blame he deserves. Its his job to get the players prepared and playing at a high level. If the cowboys had that type of coach we would win more close games rather than lose them. I dont think he’ll ever grow up as a coach. He does not run the ball enough, he puts romo in bad situations, romo is not a qb that should throw the ball over 40 times a game, he needs to be managed properly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/judy.d.inman Judy Daugherty Inman

      Totally agree. JJ needs to hire a “REAL” Head Coach, let Callahan be the play caller and get a good OC. (Garrett was ok doing just OC job…he just doesn’t have what it takes to be a Head Coach.) I also agree with frank….Garrett should have been fired last year for icing our kicker. Sheesh…does JJ just not get it???

  • Artie C

    I agree. All good points. If Jerry does stick with Garrett, though, there is no reason to keep Romo. I’d even be ok with wholesale house cleaning of personnel, again, if we keep Garrett. If Jerry wants to win now, with this core group of players, I believe it will only happen if he gets a superbowl experienced coach in 2013.

  • kurumba

    Just a minute. Didn’t Dick Vermeil return to Head Coaching after a 15 year or so absence and lead teams to Home Field and Super Bowls??? Vermeil excelled with both The Chiefs and Rams. Thus to say that Cowher is finished because of his prolonged absence from the sidelines is idiotic. The man knows how to motivate game paln and stimulate players to perform, no matter how long his absence.

    • Luminator

      It took Cower 13 year to finally win a Superbowl. His team’s were competitive every year, but it was a grind. Give Garrett a chance, he has been a HC for 2 and half seasons. How long did it take Landry to win, 7 years! How long did it take Johnson to win, 3 years!.

  • pizzaking8

    red headed genius? 50% of the Ivy leaguers finish in the bottom half of their class! Garrett cannot make adjustments on the fly! What adjustments did they make to overcome the blitzes? As for the foul-mothed blob defensive coordinater, has anyone else noticed the mid to deep middle is always open? I know they had a lot of injuries, but his defensive game plan was embarrassing!

  • Barry Soetoro

    Perry Fewell as a DC for the Giants has been a disaster—take him,PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

  • [email protected]

    Got an idea pick a winner next year, Cowboys have had years of rebuilding and truly everyone outside of Dallas is tired of hearing all the excuses. The only Talent Ware, Bryant and Whitten need to move on to a team that doesnt always make excuses.

  • dave b

    Garrett is terrible not going for the field goal at the end of the half shows just how he has no football intelligents Rob Ryan I think is the worst defensive coordinator in the NFL and his name is not enough

  • kurumba

    Players that should be cut include: Ogletree, Spears [Marcus talks much better than he plays, unfortunately!], Felix J, Jenkins, Free & Half of the OL, Ratliff, Coleman [both always hurt]. I would also consider trading Ware and see what picks can be had for him. As Jimmy Johnson stated years ago about trading away Herschel Walker, the team won nada with its best player. Rebuilding by trading players such as Ware & Austin may be a very smart move depending on the draft picks they would yield. The draft should take First Rd A Tackle 2nd Rd a DT?DE or Safety 3rd Rd Another OL e.g Centre/Guard 4th Rd A Power Running Back 5th Rd DE/DT 6th Rd OLB/DE 7th OL e.g Tackle. The Harvest needs 3 OL 3 DefensiveLinemen/OLB 1 Genuine RB and 1 Cover Safety.

  • kurumba

    I feel deeply sorry for diehard Dallas fans like Johnny Shango of The DCs. What these people need to comprehend is this: The Owner/GM/Capitalist Dictator Jones DOES NOT DESIRE TO WIN AT FOOTBALL. Repeat: Jones HAS NO INTEREST IN HAVING A SUCCESSFUL FOOTBALL TEAM. Rather Jones does just enough to continually raise the fans’ hopes [ e.g draft a Dez or Sean Lee], rakes in Revenue from renting out The Stadium and simultaneously he maintains total control over the football team the coaches, game planning [if such a thing actually exists], and who plays e.g no hopers like Ogletree & Felix The Dudd. Meanwhile, Jones sees the overall Brand name inflate in value. To protect his poor little Capitalist Ego Jones DOES NOT WANT PROPERLY QUALIFIED COACHES like Bill Cowher or Sean Payton as it would usurp his domination and control. End Result: Desired Mediocrity By Capitalist Owner = Endless Indigestion + Teeth Grinding + Frustration For The Beleagured Fans. Pete Carroll of The dangerous Seahawks stated the other day quote: “To be a championship calibre team in the long term… You MUST DOMINATE at Home.” When has the Dunce Garrett or Capitalist Dictator Jones ever said such words??? I rest my case.

  • ‘mericas_team2012

    BEST…..ARTICLE…..EVER…..

  • WPagdon1962

    Jerry Jones is too stubborn to admit a mistake. Jason Garrett is too inexperienced to be a Head Coach (of a struggling team). Tony Romo appears to have no “fire” in his belly. His control of his emotions some point screams this. As they were 1-5 against 2012 Playoff Teams, this means they won 1 Big Game in 2012. Therefore, they lost 5 Big Games in 2012. As this has been the case for many years, it should start to be worrisome, then alarming, then reality. They are not “Winners “. Comebacks against other “Losers” is nothing to boast about. I grew up watching Decades of winning. Those teams had emotion, which stimulates adrenaline, and a pulse! All I have seen in the last 10 years is a lot of individual celebration after meaningless plays in games that they are behind in or will eventually be lost. Show emotion when you do something “out of character” and not on the rare occassion you actually do your job!