After the disgusting loss to the Green Bay Packers, my friend Barry Sterling asked – Do you think this after this debacle, Jerry will change how this team is ran? My reply was short and sweet – Nope.
Head coach Jason Garrett could finish with the Cowboys third consecutive 8 – 8 record. The best message I can send is a phrase from comedian Corey Holcomb, “Your way ain’t working!” I’m not bothered by the record itself, but how we ended up with the record. In regards to young players, Garrett likes to say, “The game is not too big for him.” Unfortunately, I believe the game may be too big for Jason Garrett.
Coaching or the lack thereof, was a huge part of four losses this year – Chargers, Broncos, Lions and Packers. These were games the Cowboys failed to hold onto fourth quarter leads. You would like to see progression with players and coaches, but Garrett constantly fails to learn from his mistakes. Proper clock and game management is Football 101 and Garrett should have learned his lesson after losing to the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. It’s time to admit the game may be too big for our third year head coach. It may be time to end our Jason Garrett experiment early (see article here).
While Jerry Jones’ words indicate support for Garrett, Garrett taking control of play calling duties tell a different story. Garrett may know his tenure as head coach is coming to an end unless this team has post-season success. By taking the reigns, Garrett’s actions say – I will not lose my job based on the coaching decisions of my assistants.
Great leaders surround themselves with great people so they can comfortably delegate responsibilities and authority. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case in Dallas. The Cowboys seemed reluctant to hire any successful coordinators that could threaten to replace Garrett as head coach. The Green Bay Packers debacle might be forgiven if it was the first time the Cowboys surrendered a lead or abandoned the running game, but it wasn’t.
Bill Callahan, after the Chicago Bears loss, said – “We just felt like we could really run it and chew some clock and keep our defense off the field.” If that’s what he learned after the Bears game, why repeat that mistake against the Green Bay Packers a mere SIX days later? That’s what made the loss such a disgusting and embarrassing event. Do you need the crowd of 91,000 to chant – Run The Ball!
Rod Marinelli went 10 – 38 overall as head coach of the Detroit Lions, including an 0 – 16 season in 2008. In one year, Bill Callahan turned a Super Bowl losing 11 – 5 Oakland Raiders team into a team that finished 4 – 12. Callahan’s overall coaching record in the NFL is 15 – 17. Monte Kiffin coached North Carolina State for three years in the early 1980′s with a record of 16 – 17.
15 – 17
10 – 38
16 – 17 (College Only)
Under Garrett, this team has managed to remain a contender, at least in the NFC East, while becoming younger and overhauling the roster. Callahan came to a Cowboys team didn’t run the ball because they couldn’t. With his guidance, they are now a team that can successfully run the ball, but doesn’t.
Marinelli in his first year has done a quality job with a defensive line that has had a revolving door of starters. The release of Kiffin at this point sounds like a safe bet, based on the teams performance instead of a knee jerk reaction by Jerry Jones. With Marinelli as defensive coordinator, I look forward to the Cowboys’ war room having his input in future drafts as we seek to improve in both scheme and talent.
The Cowboys now limp into a game with Washington (3 – 11). While we are playing to remain contenders in the playoff race, make no mistake – this is Washington’s Super Bowl. A victory over the Cowboys with Robert Griffin III (aka RG 3rd String) on the bench, may earn their head coach Mike Shanahan a 5 year contract extension.
Sounds illogical to Cowboy Nation because our team is constantly listed as a possible Super Bowl contender. However, in Washington (aka Opposite World), you can celebrate having double digit losses this season and finishing with a .500 or lower winning percentage 11 times in the last 13 years, as long as you defeat the Cowboys once.
Congrats to DeMarco Murray for his first 1,000 yard season. A milestone that should’ve been broken in November.
* – RG 3rd String – credit to my good friend Mark Holmes – good luck with the trademark.