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
- Washington Redskins | .490
- Dallas Cowboys | .488
- Philadelphia Eagles | .479
- 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.