Riding the Dallas Cowboys roller coaster of dysfunction

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 14: Jason Garrett head coach of the Dallas Cowboys talks with owner Jerry Jones prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 14, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 14: Jason Garrett head coach of the Dallas Cowboys talks with owner Jerry Jones prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 14, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

In an attempt to figure out how to get better, the Dallas Cowboys took all of us on a roller coaster ride of dysfunction this week.

You don’t have to peel back too many layers of the Dallas Cowboys onion in order to get yourself to the part where things get weird. Last week, as the rest of the football world was preparing for Championship weekend, the Cowboys brass was once again left to wonder why they weren’t doing the same thing.

On one side of the NFC bracket, you had the New Orleans Saints. Dallas beat the Saints in late November, which undoubtedly was their signature win of 2018. On the other side were the Los Angeles Rams. You may remember them as the team that ended the Cowboys playoff run.

Those two teams are similar versions of one another. The Saints have an offensive genius at head coach. Sean Payton has been running the show in New Orleans since 2006. The Rams are led by Sean McVay, a soon-to-be 33 year old football savant who everyone wants their coach to be like.

Including the playoffs, McVay’s Rams have won 26 games in two years. Their offense has finished either first or second in scoring both years he has coached this team. Los Angeles is going to the Super Bowl in two weeks and a predominately large part of why is because of his innovation and leadership.

Once upon a time, Payton was the “Sean McVay” of the NFL. His Saints teams have won 10+ games seven times during his tenure. They have eight playoffs wins including a Super Bowl victory in 2009. Payton’s offenses have been in the top ten in points 11 times in 13 years, including six straight years. They have been either first or second four of those 11 times.

Meanwhile, you have the Dallas Cowboys.

Owner Jerry Jones wants to believe he has his own Sean Payton/Sean McVay, which of course is part of the problem.

Head coach Jason Garrett is the bargain basement version of the two Sean’s. His Cowboys’ teams have won 10+ games three times in his eight and a half years. They have never been to the Super Bowl or the NFC title game. They have never led the league in scoring, although they did finish fifth three times.

You see how the numbers don’t quite stack up.

So after presiding over back-to-back average or slightly worse seasons, where Dallas failed to play for the conference title, again, one might think a shake up would be in order.
I guess that depends on who you ask.

In Garrett’s mind, that answer was no. At least it was last Monday when he told 105.3 The Fan he didn’t expect any significant changes to his staff.

"“We don’t anticipate any significant changes on our staff. Obviously, we’re still evaluating everything on our football team. We’re 36 hours after the ballgame but we’re going to keep trying to grow as a staff and as a football team. We’ll evaluate what we did and just keep trying to get better.”"

Naturally, on Friday the Dallas Cowboys fired embattled offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

In a statement released by the team, the ever coy Garrett said the following:

"“This was not an easy decision because of how highly we regard Scott Linehan as a football coach and as a person. He and I had some really positive, substantive and open discussions which took place in the latter part of this week, and we ultimately agreed that it would be in the best interest of all of the parties involved if we were to make a change at this (offensive coordinator) position.”"

Um hmm… if only that was where the crazy stopped.

After this move occurred, the owner has made some comments. Rumors and speculation has grown to a swell and more personnel moves are seemingly in the works that seem backwards at best.

It is no secret that at certain times over the past decade, Jerry Jones has openly regretted letting former offensive coordinator Sean Payton exit approximately 500 miles southeast. A recent radio interview on 105.3 with Shan Shariff and RJ Ochoa further stoked that flame.

"“This is the time when these things are thought about. This is the time when you may see an opportunity next week that you didn’t know existed next week, in the area of personnel or the area of coaching.”"

Is Jerry talking about a situation where he has to wait for the Saints season to be over? Is everyone just making up stuff and guessing?

Yes and (probably), yes.

If Payton comes to town (he won’t), obviously you can remove Garrett from the picture. If, however, this is all smoke from a much smaller fire, it could be in reference to reports that former Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna is all but certain to become the new quarterbacks coach in Dallas.

Of course, there is already a quarterbacks coach for this team by the name of Kellen Moore. Moore is still officially employed and it is incredibly unlikely there will be two quarterback coaches.

Does this mean that Moore will be the new offensive coordinator?

Will Dallas hold official interviews for this position and entertain other options such as tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier or others from the Saints/Cowboys tree like tight ends coach Dan Campbell?

What if the new offensive coordinator does not want Kitna or Nussmeier or any other assistants currently employed?

Will Garrett go back to being the offensive coordinator in the final year of his head coaching deal?

The questions are plentiful. The answers are not.

Next. The top 10 Dallas Cowboys to never win a Super Bowl. dark

Discussing Kitna’s credentials or Moore’s capability is for another day and time. Since nothing has been made official, it may or may not even be necessary.

Just another typical day on the dysfunctional roller coaster that is the Dallas Cowboys.