Live and Let Coach: Why Garrett Must Stay


You can see it on Twitter. You can read it on message boards. You can read about it on the Weekly World News of sports blogging. The overall message is the same: get rid of Jason Garrett.

To me, a reasonable, well-thought football analyst, that’s the dumbest idea to get this team out of the mediocrity mire. What’s ironic about it is the same fans who say the Cowboys “embarrass” them when they lose by a mere point and mewl about Jerry Jones having “ruined” the franchise are the same ones who think like Jerry Jones.

Think about what I’m saying to you. These people say we need to get a “real” GM — a Buick, perhaps? — and get Jerry out of the way. Aside from his trading draft picks for a wide receivers, letting Larry Lacewell run free from 1994-02, and getting the Cowboys into salary cap hell, one of the most destructive things Jerry Jones has done since Super Bowl XXX is average 3 head coaches since 1994. You can’t have a pledge to winning when you’re swapping coaches tri-annually.

Jason Garrett will not answer questions on how he enjoyed working on “Scrubs.”

Since the first Super Bowl, there have been 107 head coaches who have coached a minimum of 5 seasons for a given team. Some did it twice. Regardless, when those 107 head coaches were given 5 seasons, 95 of them made the playoffs. That’s an 89% success rate. The only ones who didn’t make the playoffs were as follows:

Charley Winner (CRD), Norm Van Brocklin (MIN, ATL), Dave Shula (CIN), Bruce Coslet (CIN), Lou Saban (DEN), John Ralston (DEN), Bum Phillips (NO), Alex Webster (NYG), Joe Kuharich (PHI), Tommy Prothro (SD), Jack Patera (SEA)

Of course, the playoffs are about more than making them. We’re the Dallas Cowboys, after all. Division titles are doorstops that Shy Anderson uses to prop open the door to the Jones family suite. Out of those 95 head coaches who stayed at least five seasons with a team, 59 of them went to at least one conference championship game. That’s a 62% success rate. When adjusted for all 107 head coaches, it’s a 55%. So, if you keep the same head coach for five seasons, you have a half chance of winning a conference championship. Here’s the list of head coaches who didn’t make a conference championship game after at least five seasons with the team:

Don Coryell (CRD), Jim Hanifan (CRD), Vince Tobin (CRD), Leeman Bennett (ATL), Lou Saban (BUF), Chuck Knox (BUF), Dave Wanndstedt (CHI, MIA), Dick Jauron (CHI), Paul Brown (CIN), Marvin Lewis (CIN), Sam Rutigliano (CLE), Bill Belichick (CLE), Joe Schmidt (DET), Monte Clark (DET), Bart Starr (GB), Mike Sherman (GB), Ted Marchibroda (CLT), Ron Meyer (CLT), Jack Del Rio (JAX), Dick Vermeil (KC), Jim Burns (MIN), Mike Tice (MIN), Chuck Fairbanks (NE), Jim Mora (NO), Jim Haslett (NO), Joe Walton (NYJ), Herm Edwards (NYJ), Art Shell (RAI), Buddy Ryan (PHI), Marty Schottenheimer (SD), Jerry Glanville (OIL), Jack Pardee (OIL), Norv Turner (WAS)

What does this all mean? Well, not to steal anyone’s theme, but the running of numbers indicate it’s utterly inane to fire Jason Garrett even after 2013, regardless of the results.

If you look over the past 10 years of teams who have played on conference championship Sunday, you’ll find that 26 of the possible 40 coaches were coaches who had been with their team more than three seasons. And when it comes to winning a Super Bowl, only Jon Gruden, George Seifert, and Don McCafferty can say they’ve won the Super Bowl in their first seasons as head coach.

So if you fire Garrett and replace him with whatever coaching flavor of the year, realize there’s a 6% chance of that coach to win the Super Bowl. Dallas got better odds to win Super Bowl XVLI after their 2010 debacle.

It’s cliche and annoying, but it truly is a process. I’ve seen Dallas go through head coaches looking for that spark. That truly is insanity. Why not do something different than what’s been done in the last 17 years and stick with a coach ’til Year 5, no matter what we haven’t yet faced in Year 3?