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

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Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) is tackled by the Dallas Cowboys defense during the third quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

On this team, we’re all united in a common goal: to keep my job.” – Lou Holtz

I can’t believe I have never heard any reports that Garrett was more involved with the defense. As an offensive guy, you should be able to help analyze an opponent’s offensive scheme and point out weaknesses. Garrett isn’t just an offensive coordinator, he’s the head coach and responsible for the entire team. Head coaches also get fired due to the mistakes of their coordinators. 

Who decided that rookies J.J Wilcox (Georgia Southern University, 5th round) and Jeff Heath (Saginaw Valley State, Undrafted) would play the safety position better than three time Pro Bowler Will Allen? As head coach, you have to make the final decision involving your roster before involving the GM. Actually, the personnel decision making process may be extremely different in Dallas when compared to the rest of the league, but…

One minute: Listen, Jeff Heath, you are a solid tackler, I’ve watched you take proper angles and often you’re in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, you are a complete liability in pass coverage. Still, I’d rather have you on the field as a starter over Danny McCray. That may not be saying much, but he did go to LSU. 

Our depth isn’t limited, every team has the same number of players. It’s just a drastic drop off in talent when a starter goes down because our “next man up” is usually a “developmental player”. Case in point, I was impressed with DeVonte Holloman’s performance in the last game. He was our 6th round draft pick from South Carolina. Can we have more solid performers from the SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12 or Big Ten instead of finding “projects” from William & Mary (B.W. Webb, 4th Round), Georgia Southern and Saginaw Valley State? I’m sorry, but players from the better conferences seem better prepared to make an immediate contribution in the NFL.

Jason Garrett’s contract expires in 2014 and I can support him offensively, based on the numbers. However, this off-season, he needs to hire a proven defensive coordinator. Garrett then needs to get his hands dirty and put his fingerprints on the defensive side of the ball. We’ve all heard about Garrett and his “right kind of guys”, but usually they’re on the offense. Let’s get some “Garrett guys” on the defense.

It may be hard to trade away some of our “under-performing dead weight” like Miles Austin and DeMarcus Ware for draft picks. In 2013, San Francisco, Green Bay and Seattle lead the league with eleven picks in the NFL draft. That makes it possible to quickly improve or turn around a franchise. In fact, we don’t need to be turned around, the Cowboys only need a firm shove over the hump. Jerry, strong GM skills can find us some extra draft picks without trading down in the early rounds. Stockpile some picks in the later rounds and find us some strong contributors from quality football conferences. Starting defensive tackles and offensive guards can be found in rounds 4 – 7.

Finally Jerry – Stop affirming Garrett’s job security. Fear and the fear of failure are powerful motivators. Jason Garrett has failed us by not reaching the playoffs or winning the season finale repeatedly. Putting him on the “hot seat” may instill a greater sense of urgency in Garrett. How “uncomfortable” can things be at Valley Ranch when you’re assuring Garrett that he’s untouchable? The “Next Man Up” should also apply to head coaches! Put some fear in Garrett and make him accountable for the entire team – it’s best for the future of the Dallas Cowboys.


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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


  • 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


    • 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.. :)