Jason Garrett is going into his third season as the Dallas Cowboys head coach. This is his team now. Unlike his predecessor, Wade Phillips, he didn’t inherit his team. Phillips was given a team that was constructed by Bill Parcells. Garrett on the other hand was given the skeletal remains of Parcell’s team. It may not have been obvious, but the Cowboys went through a phase of rebuilding. No one noticed, but Garrett has brought in an entire new roster.
There are only three starters left from the 2010 Cowboys, those players are Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Anthony Spencer. It should also be noted that Sean Lee, Dez Bryant, and Barry Church were on the team, but were behind other players at the time. Garrett inherited 5 starters and brought in 16 guys on his own. With the cap limitations the past two years, most of these players came from the draft or were cheap free agents. We are beginning to notice a change in Dallas, and the man who deserves the credit is Jason Garrett.
We first need to talk about the draft. Garrett has done a great job. At times, there have been some questionable moves. Selecting Bruce Carter in the second round in 2011 is one example. At the time, we had Keith Brookings, Bradie James, and Sean Lee. So why would we use a second round pick on a linebacker that would be behind three other players. Looking back, Garrett took the best player available. He believed that if they were truly talented, they will find a spot on the team. Carter may have struggled recently, but he has solidified a spot on the starting defense.
Garrett has also shown faith in his scouts. He has stayed true to his draft board. Last year is a great example of this. People questioned his first round pick in Travis Frederick, but Frederick was a solid part of our offensive line last year. The Cowboys believed in their draft board and took Frederick, who they believed was the best available. The Cowboys have faith in their own scouting ability and are beginning to make smart picks rather than flashy picks.
Jason Garrett is a drafting wizard. He has found many high upside players in the draft such as Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter, Demarco Murray, Dwayne Harris, Terrance Williams, and Travis Frederick. When it comes to drafting, I have faith in his decisions. In order for Garrett to take the next step, he needs to do a better job on the football field. He does a great job in keeping his players motivated, even when they’re behind. However, they shouldn’t be behind for most of those games to begin with. Garrett has created an identity as a good team builder. This Cowboys roster is full of young talent, but now he needs to be able to get that talent to produce on the field.