Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett on the field before the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Garrett: The Real McCoy? 5 Things He Must Do

This is Jason Garrett‘s final chance to find his soundtrack. The 2014 schedule is nothing to sneeze at for the Dallas Cowboys. No more going 8-8. It won’t be one of those seasons. It’s one way or the other.

That’s what a strong schedule will do. It will show you your colors. Who you really are. Where you stand. Where you should stand.

Prove yourself. Or don’t.

And that’s what we need to know from Jason Garrett. Is this our coach? Our guy? Is he legit? Is he the real thing?

Since the start of his freshmen (full) year as the head coach in 2011, Jason Garrett has a 24-24 record. He has never coached a playoff game.

Strength of 2014 Schedule | NFC East Division

* Numbers represent 2013 opponent win percentage

  1. Washington Redskins | .490
  2. Dallas Cowboys | .488
  3. Philadelphia Eagles | .479
  4. New York Giants | .465

• Oakland Raiders have the hardest schedule (.578), and the Indianapolis Colts have the easiest (.430).

It’s a make it or watch it break kind of year for the head coach. Nobody expects the Cowboys to do much. But if Jason Garrett improves a lot in little areas, the 2014 season won’t look like any of his previous (3) seasons.

With that said, here are five things Jason Garrett must do in 2014:

1. Run Baby Run

The Cowboys must run the ball, and run the ball well. DeMarco Murray earned his first Pro Bowl appearance on 1,121 rushing yards with nine scores in 14 games. He caught 53 passes.

DeMarco Murray it must be? No it doesn’t. The Cowboys carry more than one running back. Use them. Use them all. Run. Then run some more.

The Cowboys have the front five of dreams. Let them play. Let them block.

Tony Romo only benefits (health and game strategy).

2. Clock Management

Still a left over groundhog day issue for Jason Garrett. Wear a watch. One for each wrist. If the batteries fail, just run the ball. The clock moves. Smart decisions here.

3. No Moral Victories

There’s no such thing as a moral victory. There is such a thing as an 8-8 record though. That’s real. Obtainable. Moral victories are not.

They prove nothing.

4. Not So Quiet On The Western Front

Cowboys must dominate the front line — on both sides of the ball. This is the biggest difference maker for the defense. Pressure up front leaves less in the back. When the rush goes well, cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr are able to play their game.

5. No Clapping

Just yell, Jason. It’s 4th down. Special teams to the field. Yell. Don’t clap. Yell. Like really, yell.

Same goes for the defense. No clapping.

Just touchdown dances.

Next Cowboys Game View full schedule »
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Tags: Brandon Carr Jason Garrett Morris Claiborne The Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo

  • Mike Dougherty

    I really think that Jason Garrett is a better coach than his record shows. He inherited a team in a mess and a GM that was controlling the decisions. Jason has changed the culture of the team and brought in the right kind of players and coaches. The problem is that it takes 4-5 years to get all the right guys on the team and somehow keep them healthy. Even though you won’t ever hear him admit it…Jason has had some really bad luck with all the injuries to key players at key positions. I know that is not an excuse and it happens to every team, but in the case of the Cowboys, it seems to happen every year. I really think that you will see a big improvement this year in all facets of the game. He has enough players in key positions to make it work as long as we can keep them on the field.

    • SmartThinking

      Excuses? There’s no excuses in football!!!!!

      • Mike Dougherty

        And you never have nor ever will, heard Garrett make excuses. I’m just saying, and you can disagree with me, that he really has been the victim of untimely bad luck.

        • David

          His clock management issues alone have cost this team two playoff trips. Thats not bad luck..

          • Mike Dougherty

            There is no one game, not one play, not one anything that defines a game or season. There are plenty of other opportunities during the coarse of the game or season to make plays so that you are not put in certain situations at the end of games. The Cowboys were 5th in the league in scoring last season. Defense needs to step up and make plays for this team to advance. Nothing to do with the way Garrett coaches.

        • SmartThinking

          I believe these players, and coaches, make their own luck, good or bad. Garrett’s own mantra is “Next Man Up.” With that in mind, he either makes his own luck this season or it’s the next man’s turn. And rightly so. I, for one, am tired of hearing the excuses and watching the elementary, rookie mistakes and judgment errors, year after year after year while other teams in the same or nearly the same circumstances move past this team. This is a man’s game played by men. They don’t give trophies to everyone on both teams just because they showed up. I don’t care how good Garrett is or what progress he’s brought to this team. The season is judged by who wins championships. Nothing else counts. And so far, Dallas is stuck in the middle … again.

          • Mike Dougherty

            You may be hearing excuses, but they aren’t from Garrett or Romo.

          • Ronnie B

            Mike, I agree with you. I think this could be the year it comes together for this team.
            I know the loss of Lee hurts but they have a few months to work it out. I hope the injury bug finds some other team to attack this year. go boys

          • SmartThinking

            Nope. They almost always seem to appear in forums like this from low performance apologists such as yourself.

  • David

    For reasons one and two, JG will be gone next year.

    • Mike Dougherty

      Disagree. Garrett has been building the OL his past 3 drafts just for the purpose of running the ball. We will run the ball and run it again all season. Garrett is not and never has been the problem on this team. The culture change alone shows his value.

      • David

        You are delirious. If that was the case then JG would have ran the ball more against GB last year. That game is only one example. And I dont want to hear the excuse Romo changed the play. JG is the HC and should have told Romo not to check to a pass play. He could have checked to another run play if he did not like the original call. For you to say JG has never been the problem on this team means you are either his agent or clueless about football.

        • Mike Dougherty

          Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda…Isn’t hindsight wonderful? Clueless huh? Boy are you deluded my friend.

      • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

        Mike, I agree with your posts. Many fans wish the Cowboys had a HC other than Garrett. All I can say to them is to “be careful what you wish for”. And to suggest injuries hasn’t mattered is way out in left field. The culture of the team has changed since Garrett took over in spite of having to deal with Jerry Jones. If fans want another coach they had better hope he works for different owner.