Dallas Cowboys Need To Be Thinking of Next Year—Already

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Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett

Realize that current head coach Jason Garrett is only averaging just under one more win per month than Campo did, at least over his two full seasons as head coach. This seasons 5-5 mark keeps this fact fully intact.

Garrett and Campo share a couple of common denominators.

First of all, both were coaching hires that made Jones feel pretty comfortable. In other words, neither had the leverage that a coach like Parcells, Jimmy Johnson or another big name would have had at Valley Ranch.

Finally, both inherited teams that weren’t playing particularly well and both faced a shortage of resources available to correct numerous problems. Campo had a rapidly declining Troy Aikman for most of his first season, but no forthcoming first round draft pick entering his second season with which to grab a franchise quarterback, like Drew Brees, the second passer chosen with the first selection of the second round in the 2001 NFL draft. Can’t offer many excuses for Garrett, but to be fair, he’s endured the better part of two seasons, to this point, with a remarkably high number of injuries to his starters on the defensive side of the ball.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

Jones had to accept that nine seasons of “comfortable” head coaching hires wasn’t getting the job done. He also knew that the new football palace in Arlington, Texas wasn’t going to build itself, especially with a team that was far from contention upon the start of the new millenium.

Enter Parcells, who at least changed the losing culture that had really set in with the Cowboys.

Well, Jones has had another seven seasons, counting 2013, to enjoy “comfortable” head coaches, like Wade Phillips, sometimes referred to as “Coach Cupcake”, and of course Garrett, a guy that Jones fully intended to hire as a head coach when Phillips came aboard in 2007.

Cowboys fans really don’t give a squirt of stale beer how comfortable Jones is as owner and GM. They don’t care about the size of the giant television at the semi-new stadium.

Dallas fans want a contender, and when they don’t get it, they will stop showing up. The ghost of Tom Landry can offer firm confirmation of that fact. Even Jones, himself, realizes that this is true. His 1989 rookie-season as an owner saw exactly one win that season, and most home games had been blacked out since the season prior. It wasn’t until 1991 that the Cowboys finally sold out an entire home schedule—Dallas still needed help from a North Texas grocery chain to get the first three games sold out.

In other words, when the Cowboys fan base in North Texas has had enough, they’ve had enough. It’s hard to get them back too. It’s not like there’s some magically ridiculous Herschel Walker trade coming to remake the roster almost overnight either.

Jones has to look to the future as opposed to actually entertaining the idea that the Cowboys can limp into the playoffs as winners of the NFL’s worst division this year. Understand that this can still happen seeing as how each of Dallas’ NFC East rivals face some pretty tough games down the stretch, games that exclude rematches against the Cowboys.

But what does a playoff birth really mean? The Cowboys haven’t beaten a team with a winning record this season, instead preferring to handle only opponents who don’t have proven franchise quarterbacks. I think that New Orleans showed Sunday night that Dallas is quite far from being ready for postseason play, most of which would happen on the road if the Cowboys were to actually win their second playoff game since early 1997 in the Wild Card round.

You really think Dallas is going to get healthy enough for that kind of run?

You think they’re even good enough?


Jones is free to believe whatever he chooses when it comes to his franchise.

What he’s not free to do is continue to offer up a novice head coach like Garrett and sub-par performances year after year after year. History has shown that Jones understands these facts, even if it’s more “comfortable” doing things the other way.

Yes, history suggests that the future is now and the course needs to be changed.

Jones should start making some phone calls right away.