Jason Garrett, Former Cowboys Head Coach
When Bill Parcells left following the 2006 season, the Cowboys went back to the drawing board in search of their next head coach. In typical Dallas fashion, this process went down in the weirdest way possible.
Jerry Jones, who does things his own way even if it makes no sense, hired Jason Garrett before making a decision about who would replace Parcells. He stated that Garrett’s role would be defined later, but in order to lure him away from the Miami Dolphins, he said it would be as the offensive coordinator or maybe even head coach.
In the end, they hired Wade Phillips and forced Garrett upon him. However, the power dynamic was weird, as Phillips had no control over the offense, basically serving as a glorified defensive coordinator who got to put the record under his name. It was also just a matter of time until he was out and Garrett would replace him.
This finally happened in 2010, as Phillips was fired midseason and Garrett took over. From then on, the Cowboys were nothing more than a mediocre club that could hang with most teams, but couldn’t deliver when it counted.
Garrett coached nine full seasons, and five of those ended with a record of 8-8 — including three years straight from 2011 through 2013. He did lead them to the playoffs three times, but they were just 2-3, and one of those wins came courtesy of the refs ignoring a blatant pass interference from Anthony Hitchens.
Despite all the struggles, Jones stood by Garrett year after year. It didn’t matter that he would get out-schemed by one coach after another, or that they would pass on players such as T.J. Watt thinking their scheme couldn’t use great players. It also didn’t matter that Garrett seemed to do nothing but clap on the sidelines and that he had to have his play-calling duties stripped due to ineffectiveness. In spite of all this, Jones stood by his man.
That was until 2020, when Garrett finally allowed the Cowboys to fire him. Yes, Garrett reportedly allowed the team to fire him.
It was a weird ending, as it took weeks for Garrett to finally leave after it was known he would be on the way out. But considering how unorthodox his hiring was, we shouldn’t have expected anything less.