With Tony Romo riding into the sunset, America is searching for the next whipping boy. Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Garrett fits the bill. Can he take a whip?
For the first time since 2003, the Dallas Cowboys will enter the season without Tony Romo on the roster. Let that sink in.
Since taking over for Drew Bledsoe in 2006, the Cowboys as an organization were never the same. America’s Team was relevant both on the field and off it. The ‘Boys, under Romo’s guidance, were competing again.
Fortunately for Dallas, the Cowboys have quarterback Dak Prescott to take over the wheel. But unfortunately, with Romo scrambling over to the CBS Booth, the world is now looking for their next Tony Romo.
Romo was the most loved and hated player in the NFL for years. With the emergence of social media and smart phone technology, the microscope Romo lived under was magnified. With Tony out, there is a vacant spot, and somebody must fill it.
Enter head coach Jason Garrett.
The coach can’t get a break. Despite winning NFL Coach of the Year honors in 2016, the 51-year-old isn’t getting any love. In fact, fans and analysts still aren’t convinced he’s a good coach.
Like Romo, Garrett has a winning record in his position. He has a 58-46 regular season record. Though, similar to Romo, he hasn’t had much success in the playoffs, posting a 1-2 record.
From 2011 to 2013, Garrett posted three consecutive 8-8 seasons. The Cowboys didn’t punch their playoff ticket during that time span. The offensive-minded coach found stride in 2014, hitting a 12-4 record and posted his first postseason win.
In 2015, the ‘Boys collapsed, finishing with a 4-12 record. Last season, the Cowboys returned with Ezekiel Elliott and a first place NFC East finish. But, Garrett was knocked out of the playoffs with a one and done performance.
One thing to factor in is this: coach Garrett has only one losing season since taking over in 2010. The 2015, 4-12 finish was a terrible season. Derailed by injuries, 2015 was a forgettable season.
Now that Romo is out of the picture for America’s Team, the world is looking for the next piñata to beat up. Sure, quarterback Prescott can fill the void.
But I think America is content with another guy, someone who also played the QB spot for the Cowboys. Garrett was already under the radar. Though Romo took most of the heat, Garrett did share some of the criticism. And, in many ways, their success is quantified by the number of rings accrued.
Romo never won a Super Bowl. Garrett, as a coach, has little playoff success. He has not passed the divisional round of play.
So, fair or not, it seems that America has their next victim. And just like Romo, Garrett won’t silence critics until he achieves a Super Bowl win. Winning titles, it seems, is the only measurement for the Cowboys. The expectations for the head coach is no different. If anything, it’s magnified.
Garrett’s road to a Super Bowl continues. Stay tuned.