Jason Garrett has seemingly been on the hot seat for the last few seasons. Does the Dallas Cowboys‘ longtime head coach deserve it though?
With the rumors swirling for several years, the question has resurfaced over the past few days. Will current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton leave The Big Easy if the Dallas Cowboys‘ job becomes available? Payton responded with a line about having tattoos of the Fleur-de-lis, a staple of New Orleans and French culture alike.
Regardless of what any coach ever says, things can change quickly, as we’ve seen this movie before. Coaches say they are happy somewhere or that they intend to be in a place for as long as that place will allow, and before the ink dries on reporting those quotes, they are off to new destinations. Even still, and before a new coach can claim the Cowboys head job, you have to ask the question of whether their current coach deserves to possibly lose the gig.
When thinking about whether current Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett deserves to be on the hot seat, the first thing you do for any coach in this situation is look at the record. Since taking the job in the midst of the 2010 season, where he coached eight games, he has a record of 77-59. In case your math is off, after coaching 136 for the Cowboys, Garrett sits 18 games over .500.
This says a few things and most importantly that in what is commonly referred to as an 8-8 league due to the moderately accurate competitive balance aspect, coach Garrett has performed at an above average rate. His record also says that he could afford to go a complete season without a win, and would still be .500 for his tenure.
Not that you would want that, but that is extremely impressive considering how hard it is to win in the NFL, and that some coaches struggle to consistently reach 8-8. The fact that Garrett consistently hit’s .500 at minimum also points to a consistency factor that he represents. The old saying goes slow and steady wins the race, and although speed is at a premium in the NFL, the value in being steady is often overlooked.
There are undoubtedly times when every Dallas Cowboy fan gets tired of hearing the coach speak at the podium after each and every game, but there is a consistency there that you have to appreciate. In a long season that is any professional sports season, the MLB,NBA, and NHL due to the actual amounts of games and the NFL for the sheer physicality of the 16 weeks at hand, there is definitely real value in not getting to high or to low as a head coach.
This not only allows him to stay disciplined to whatever the strategies are to obtain the most success for the franchise, but it also is a guiding light for players that look to the coach to set the tone for any team. When things are going good, there is value in having a coach who is the optimum example for players when thinking about handling success as well as having an example to look to when learning to handle adversity.
Garrett throughout the season is always a very vivid illustration of how to be consistent through the good times and the bad times. Outside of just being a literal model of consistency for his players, Garrett also excels at his particular coaching style.
There are quite a few different types of coaches when it comes to thinking about professional sports. Some guys are gurus, such as the coveted quarterback whisperer in the new NFL or the positional guru, such as Jason Kidd was supposed to be in unlocking the point guard potential of all world NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo. Some guys are specialist, such as former New England Patriots’ defensive coaches Brian Flores and Matt Patricia or like the aforementioned Payton, who is supposedly an offensive specialist and genius.
Although Jason Garrett is a former coordinator and play caller, when he relinquished his play calling duties he was able to focus on what he really is and excels at, a motivator and leader of men. That is exactly what he is. Garrett may not be the coach who’ll draw up an uncoverable play, but what he does is make players believe in what he’s saying to the point where even if they’re covered, they still make the necessary plays.
Need an example? After last season’s game against the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football, the Cowboys were 3-5. A popular saying from this direction, more like positive affirmations, was that all they needed was to ring off eight straight wins and everything was going to be alright. Sarcasm be darned, they almost did it.
They won their next five in a row, before losing to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14, and closing the season with two wins. Outside of big performances from key players, Garrett’s motivation played a key part in this happening.
Whether it be his rock-steady demeanor, his record, or his coaching style, there are many good things to say about Jason Garrett. While there is also some bad, there isn’t enough to warrant the hot seat he’s been on for the last few seasons. So as you may have guessed, no, he doesn’t deserve it currently either.