Although Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones claims head coach Jason Garrett is not on the hot seat, his latest comments should undoubtedly put him there.
When the Dallas Cowboys hired Jason Garrett as the team’s official head coach back in 2011, they did so mainly because the team needed a culture change. But now it appears that America’s Team needs another change. This time from Garrett himself.
The former back-up quarterback, who has two Super Bowl rings on his resume due to playing on those nineties Cowboys teams, was hired to helm America’s Team despite never being a head coach on any level before. And through Dallas’ first three seasons under his reign, the team was the very definition of mediocrity, posting back-to-back-to-back 8-8 season ending records without a playoff berth.
The 2014 season likely salvaged Garrett’s coaching career, as the Cowboys turned their focus from being a more passing orientated team to running the ball. Behind the league’s leading rusher, former running back DeMarco Murray, Dallas posted a 12-4 record, were undefeated on the road throughout the entire regular season and posted their first playoff victory since 2009.
Garrett received a lucrative five-year, $30 million contract extension at the end of that season and promptly sent the Cowboys into a nosedive the following year. Without starting quarterback Tony Romo for all but four games due to two separate collarbone injuries, Dallas finished the season 4-12 and many wondered, including myself, if the Cowboys had awarded Garrett a new contract prematurely.
Last season, the Cowboys struck draft gold by landing the dynamic duo of running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott. The two first-year phenoms took the NFL by storm, leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 regular season record, including an 11-game winning streak and a first round bye in the playoffs.
But Garrett’s inexperience shined brightly once again as the team’s decision to rest the majority of their starters and take a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17 likely resulted in the team’s slow start against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Down 21-3 midway through the second quarter, the Cowboys struggled to overcome the Packers early led. And despite tying the game twice in the fourth quarter, Dallas would end up losing their best chance at a Super Bowl in the past two decades due to a last minute field goal.
In spite of the Cowboys playoff debacle, the NFL still named Garrett it’s Coach of the Year. And just like three seasons ago, the now 51-year old head coach is continuing his rollercoaster of a record in Dallas. The Cowboys currently sit at 5-6, after losing three straight games in which the team’s offense has been outscored 92-22.
Despite the historical lack of offense in Dallas, Garrett said something on Friday after the team’s embarrassing 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving, that should not only anger every Cowboys fan, but firmly place the inconsistent head coach on the hot seat.
"“Certainly we’re always looking at ourselves and things that we can do better, but our convictions as a coaching staff, or as a football team, really won’t change,” Garrett told the Star-Telegram when asked about taking control of offensive play-calling duties. “You’re looking for different ways to implement things. You self-scout. You do a lot of different things week by week to give your team the best chance possible. But the core convictions about how you win ballgames? They remain intact.”"
So, essentially what Garrett is saying is despite not having Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, the numerous injuries along their offensive line, a young quarterback who appears shaken for the first time in his life, and the fact the team is in the midst of a three-game run where they’ve displayed some of the worst offense football in franchise history, the fundamental gameplan in Dallas will go unchanged. They’ll just tweak it a little. Ridiculous.
The Dallas Cowboys have five games left to save their season. And it appears head coach Jason Garrett is so set in his ways, he refuses to change his gameplan despite all the evidence that he absolutely should. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Dallas doesn’t win a single game in the next five weeks. If so, Garrett should be cleaning out his desk by New Year’s Day.