Cowboys: Should Jerry Jones Apply Fear of “Next Man Up” to Garrett

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Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving against the Oakland Raiders at AT

Happy New Year! It could be happier for Cowboy Nation with our team in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we went out with a bang and Jerry Jones. Well, he got another great “show”. Some owners don’t care about the football team, some care about winning, ours cares about entertainment. Jerry, great shows have happy endings. To quote comedian Mike Birbiglia, “What you should’ve said was nothing.”

Jerry Jones, you will forever be associated with the Dallas Cowboys. Look around the league and realize you are the only owner / general manager that’s giving post game press conferences and speaking about the health of our players. As the owner of the most popular football franchise in the universe, you don’t have to do press conferences, interviews, radio shows or commercials. Fade from the spotlight and focus on giving us the best football team possible.

Now, I’m torn regarding Jason Garrett’s return as head coach. The offense was inept at times because they tended to become extremely pass happy and completely abandoned the running game. To save his job, Garrett snatched play calling duties from Bill Callahan mid-season. On 4th & 1 in the season finale, Garrett is completely responsible for not callling a full house formation and running the ball for a yard?

Find yourself a “Fridge”, a “Freezer”, an “A/C Unit” and “The Kitchen Sink” and simply run for one yard. Getting the ball after a defensive sack/fumble deep in enemy territory and kicking a field goal is another example of your ineptitude. Winning teams covert turnovers into touchdowns. As bad as our defense performed all season, the last loss was on the offense. Perhaps the whispers of his supposed “Offensive Geniusness” has gone to Garrett’s head when the key to success is just keeping it simple, stupid.

Although the offense had its bad moments, the numbers indicate they were definitely productive, actually a lot better than I realized. The Cowboys offensively ranked fifth overall in the regular season with 439 points scored, averaging 27.4 points per game. The Cowboys ranked 5th in the NFL with 47 touchdowns.

Positioned by points scored, the fifth ranked Cowboys and 10th ranked New Orleans are the only teams that averaged less than 100 rushing yards per game. Dallas finished with a 94.2 average and New Orleans averaged 92.1.

The Cowboys offense always seemed to stall at the worst times, but they scored touchdowns 68.63% of the time when they reached their opponents red zone. That ranks them 3rd in the league behind Denver and Cincinnati (shocker!).

The Cowboys went 12 of 13 on field goals of less than 40 yards. Nine of those attempts were between 30 – 39 yards. Dan Bailey went 10 – 10 on field goals between 40 – 49 yards and 6 – 7 on field goals of 50 – 53 yards. #PayThatMan

I’m not mentioning that to point out how great Dan Bailey was this season. With all the attention paid to Denver’s offensive statistical domination, the Broncos attempted 26 total field goals while the Cowboys attempted 30.

Even though Garrett and Callahan would stop running the ball, the Cowboys still rank favorably. They ranked 6th in the NFL with an average of 4.5 yards per carry. The Cowboys ranked 24th in total rushing yards with 1,507, but had the second lowest number of rushing attempts with 336.

Four NFL teams had more than 500 rushing attempts while eight teams had less than 400. The Cowboys should’ve ran the ball at least 120 more times last season. Had they done so, our 8 – 8 season could have easily been 12 – 4. Once again, I’ll give credit to Bill Callahan for his offensive line coaching. He inherited a team that didn’t run the football because they couldn’t. He turned them into a group that could run the ball, but didn’t. I can justify retaining Callahan as an offensive line coach and removing the salary bonus that comes with the Offensive Coordinator title.

If Jason Garrett were fired and the offense overhauled, would it be possible to do better offensively? I find that to be doubtful, even with the inclusion of Garrett’s play calling brain farts. Even with statistics showing why I should be happy that Garrett and the offense remains I still have a major gripe with him.

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  • jayhwk01

    It simply does not matter who Dallas has on the field or who is coaching. As long as Jerry is a part of the daily operations the results will continue to be the same.

    • Earl Robertson

      Exactly

  • Old Frog

    Garrett is not the problem and even if he were, who would come to work for Jerry that’s any better?

    • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

      Amen.

    • Robert H. Carroll

      I agree Old Frog… I think it would be really hard to replace Garrett, given the offensive production. Yet, I can’t excuse Garrett for his play calling miscues or his lack of input on the defensive side of the ball.

  • Jimmy DeMarco

    Hey Robert, Happy New Year.
    Very good article.

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with Garrett staying. I think we need some semblance of stability. And while I do think there are other coaches out there that would be very good replacements, I think Garrett getting one more year, with better coordinators and a better understanding of situational football (balanced offense), there will be improvement, I HOPE.

    And as I’ve been doing my homework getting ready for the FA/draft season, this year is all on Jerry more than anyone. And what I mean is, with all the gaffes and mismanagement that Garrett has shown throughout his tenure with Dallas, I truly believe, with the proper personnel on defense & the right coordinator in place, even if the team doesn’t win next year, improvement is coming. I would like to see Garrett have a healthy roster, at least on defense. At least have a legitimate chance to win.

    Now, with saying that… I’ve looked at our off season In a strange way. Tell me what you think.
    Is there actually a possibility that Jerry does somewhat of a rebuild?
    With decisions coming on Ware, Hatcher, Spencer, Sims, Carter, Wynn, E Jones, Austin, Tanner or Randle, Scandrick or Claiborne, Waters, Hannah, Bass, Bernadeau, McCray, Orton, M Wilson, M Austin, Brown, Durant, Crawford, Heath and Irvin, we’re sure to see a few from this list gone, at least.
    So It got me thinking, what if Dallas did something out of the ordinary and did things differently, a little different at least, this year?
    So please, call me crazy or nuts, I would just like to get your thoughts on some things, here we go lol:
    Trade Orton to someone looking for a backup that is either drafting a qb this year or has a young qb already in place, Oakland, Jets, Cleveland or Tampa, a team in that category. That would give that team a viable backup and alleviate some $ on our end. Then, either resign Tanney, I know we’ve had this discussion about Tanney before lol. But he knows the system already and he’s young. Or, sign McCown from Chicago to be the backup. He’ll be cheaper than what Orton is getting.
    Now here’s where you’re probably going to call me crazy: trade Witten to New England for a mid Rd pick, possibly 4th or 5th rounder. I know Escobar isn’t the greatest blocker in the world. But, he’s got really good hands, good speed and Is absolutely un-coverable with his size. And he poses a lot of match-up problems for everyone. And I know mentioning letting Witten go or trading him is blasphemous, but it would make sense. And I think adding an Escobar type TE into this offense makes the passing game a little more versatile. & then sign either a Kellen Davis from Seattle or a Alex Smith from Cincinnati. Both are good blocking tight ends and Smith was a really good receiving TE early in his career.

    And then with the subtraction of some of the higher priced players, I think we should sign tj Ward, that would open up an extra draft spot to use for the defensive front instead of having to draft a safety. Then we could sign Bennett, Ward or Johnson for DE. And that would allow us to use our first 2 picks to draft defensive lineman. Now I’m pretty sure between Ware, Hatcher and Spencer, one of them will be staying. I’m almost positive Hatcher is gone, but with Jerry, who knows.
    Now I’m pretty sure Austin is gone. So does Dallas use a late round pick on a receiver and trust Williams to step in and be their #2, or would they attempt to go after Decker?

    The point is, I’m trying to think outside the box here a little. Figure out a way to add talent and depth, along with extra picks.

    And like I said earlier, I’m sure you and along with your other readers will this I’m crazy, and that’s fine. But upgrading through FA with immediate impact defensive players and drafting the right players this year, Dallas could definitely build a top tier defense.

    And I know our cap situation will most likely leave us outside looking in on being able to sign multiple big time, impact FA. But it can’t hurt throwing the idea around and seeing if there’s any sense to it.

    • Robert H. Carroll

      Cowboy Nation would go crazy if anything happened to Witten. :) the problem is – Witten is still incredibly productive. Escobar compares to the Saints Jimmy Graham. I don’t mind seeing Escobar moved to the slot, after they line up in a 2 TE power run/max protection look. I have to believe Escobar didn’t grasp the offense. There’s no reason a healthy 2nd round draft pick contributed so little.

      I wouldn’t mind the entire d-line taking a walk and replacing them in the draft. Some positions like d-tackle, you just need “a body”. Allow stunts and other line maneuvers to generate pressure more than one on one play.

      Release the Tanney dream. He’s under contract with the Browns for 2 years. My draft board (wishes) have the Cowboys grabbing a QB in the last round to challenge Orton for the backup spot. It will be someone that wouldn’t threaten Romo.

      Austin is gone. I see Bryant, Williams & Beasley – which I can live with, but I’m still #TeamHarris and would like him to get more playing time. If the Cowboys draft anything on offense besides a guard and I’d declare it a bust. Smith, Frederick & Free (who’d be replaced in the next draft) – would give us an o-line built to last the next 7 years.

      I’m not a fan of getting a lot of free agents. Just give me a solid group of athletic, smart players from quality schools that can grow together. Eventually you get that unspoken communication like a handyman with an assistant that hands him tools before he can ask for it.

      With 7 of the right draft picks, this team can be amazing. Just give me more guys from top programs in Division 1 instead of Division 3. Additional draft picks would be a bonus. It would also help our cap situation immensely.

      • Jimmy DeMarco

        Good stuff Robert.
        If Marinelli goes to Tampa & we end up swapping picks, who do you think they’ll take at 7?

        As for a late qb, you like Guiton or Savage?

        • Robert H. Carroll

          There’s a lot of IF, IF, IF going on.. right now though.. I haven’t seen Guiton or Savage.. The problem with NCAA football, is that it occurs during the same time as the NFL season! Hahaha.. The last quarterback that caught my eye was Kellen Moore of Boise State and I wish we’d picked him up even as an undrafted FA. Oh well.. As usual, I will do my homework and research your guys.

          Still, I don’t think the Cowboys were or are planning to let Marinelli get away. (I hope I haven’t jinxed that.)

  • Joe

    Great article.. I love the stats breakdown you provide. It’s a damn shame they let Marinelli go. I would have loved to see him take over as DC. Just wait and see how good the Buc’s D is going to be next year.

    • Robert H. Carroll

      I don’t believe that he Cowboys have let Marinelli go yet. I believe he’s going to be promoted to Defensive Coordinator when Monte Kiffin is given the boot. Stick to the Landry Hat and get your sporting news from reliable sources.. :)

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