Oct 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talks with head coach Jason Garrett during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. The Bears beat the Cowboys 34-18. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

What Is Jason Garrett Doing To America’s Team?

It was a long two weeks for the Dallas Cowboys leading up to the Ravens game. Most of us had overcome the gut wrenching loss to Chicago. The hope was once again beginning to creep in. Maybe, just maybe, the Dallas Cowboys could get it together, go in to Baltimore and beat those Ravens in their own back yard. Yes Cowboys’ fans did it again. We set ourselves up for yet another disappointment.

Oct 14, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (left) talks with Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett (right) after the Ravens defeated the Cowboys 31-29 at M

I reviewed the game tape several times prior to doing this article because I was trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. The more I watched, the more the realization hit me that Jason Garrett is not qualified to do the job. Why? Well, I am certain that most of you are immediately thinking of the time out. Yes that was the kill shot, but it goes much deeper than that.

Down and distance is the most important aspect of winning football games. Mental mistakes, drops, and foolish penalties are the Achilles heel for any football team. As someone who was raised by a coach, I see things in a different light than your average football fan. The most important aspect of having a successful football team is accountability. Yep, players need to be held accountable for their actions. There has to be some structure.

How does one create this structure? There has to be genuine competition at every position. This is important because it prevents players from getting too comfy. Once a player has the mindset that there is no one on the roster that can take his job, he loses the hunger that drove him to win that job in the 1st place (Doug Free). It is obvious that Garrett hasn’t created that type of environment.

What I believe to be the biggest problem under Jason Garrett, is using this ridiculous seniority pecking order (Kevin Ogletree), or a guy being guaranteed a job just because of where he was drafted. (Morris Claiborne). I am not taking anything away from Mo, but let’s face it, he is not as good as the the veteran Mike Jenkins. Which brings me to my next point. If you had a job and they brought in some completely inexperienced guy and kicked you to the curb: how hard would you want to work for that company?

Discipline: Where do I start here? Ok, here it is, attitude reflects leadership. Where does leadership start? It should start with head coach. There is no fear factor in Dallas anymore. Can you name one time in the history of the Dallas Cowboys when they had 13 penalties in three of the first five games of the season? What are the consequences for these actions? Apparently none. I am yet to see Jason Garrett pull a player aside after a drive killing penalty and reprimand him in any way shape or form. Tom Landry didn’t even have to open his mouth. All he had to do was give a player “the look” and he knew it better not happen again. Why doesn’t Garrett command that kind of respect? Former Dallas Cowboys coaches Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells did.

October 14, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) signals the offense against the Baltimore Ravens at M

Preparation: The most important aspect of coaching any type of team is having the players prepared for every conceivable situation. If this is the case: why do I constantly see Tony Romo having to tell people where to line up? Why should a professional athlete have to be told to hurry back to the line because the clock is running out? Why do I constantly see receivers running the wrong route? Who’s fault is that? What really gets me, is that Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo always gets the blame.

What most people don’t understand is that all passing plays are based on timing. The best analogy I can use to explain this is hunting. If a deer is running across a field: are you going to aim right at him? Of course not. You have to anticipate where he is going to be and squeeze the trigger. Every time a QB throws a pass it’s based on anticipation. Every receiver has a route to run. Tony throws the ball to where the WR is supposed to be. If he doesn’t get there, how is that the QB’s fault? That receiver is supposed to know that he is running a comeback route and that when he gets to the 15 yard line he is supposed to turn around and come back to the 10 for example. If Tony throws the ball to the 10 and that guy keeps going, more times than not it’s a pick. How many times has that happened this year? If you understand the routes and watch the tape, you will be amazed.

I want to give you a little something to think about here. In 2011 Tony Romo only had 10 interceptions in 16 games with Laurent Robinson and the previous offensive line. He already has 9 in 5 games. What changed? Kevin Ogletree and the new offensive line. What does that tell you? In spite of all the drops, picks and running for his life, Tony is completing 67.4% of his passes. That is among the best in the NFL. Did you ever really wonder how many of those picks came as the result of a route run wrong, or a catchable ball bouncing off of the receiver, or Tony having to throw on the run, or Tony taking a hit while he is trying to release the ball? If you can’t answer that, I suggest you re-watch the games.

In closing, the question now becomes: how is Jason Garrett responsible for the loss in Baltimore among other games?

Clock management: Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett is 7-9 when the Cowboys are trailing with a chance to win in the 4th quarter. When the Cowboys are trailing in the 4th quarter, Jason Garrett needs to go to the no huddle offense. Constantly waiting until there is only one second left on the play clock not only gives the defense time to get set and rest, but it also burns valuable seconds off the clock that are needed for end game.

The argument came out of valley ranch that he made the right decision by kicking the FG. Mickey Spagnola said on “Talkin Cowboys” that the fans are assuming that another play would have worked to get them closer without a penalty or a turnover. My answer to Mickey Spagnola is that he is assuming that Bailey (a kicker who is not known for having a big leg) was going to make a 51 yard FG in the wind. I have to say they had better odds of running a play and getting him closer. The running game was working great all afternoon. Why not run the play action in that situation ? Many try to blame Romo for 4th quarter losses, but the fact is, he has a career 112 passer rating in the 4th quarter. #1 in the NFL. Jason Garrett’s blunders during the final seconds of the game have cost this team 3 losses in the last 10 games. Name one coach that ever iced his own kicker.

Preparation: It’s obvious the players on this offense are not properly prepared on how to handle end game situations. There is no excuse for what we are seeing. Saying things like noise effected it because Ogletree didn’t know if they called time out or not is ridiculous. Ogletree saying there was no communication in the huddle to hurry back to the line to spike the ball is even more ridiculous. Any football player at any level knows you always hurry back to the line when the clock is running out. Professional receivers should not be getting flagged for failing to get set after a shift. The QB shouldn’t have to be telling “Professional” athletes where to line up. Jason Garrett, knowing how far his receivers were down field should have called the time out and made an attempt to get Bailey in better range playing outdoors in the wind. The better option would be to call short out routes so once the ball is caught they can step out of bounds to stop the clock. One of the biggest problems I see in this area is Garrett’s inability to make mid game adjustments.

Feb 5, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; General view of the snow on the statue of Dallas Cowboys former coach Tom Landry (not pictured) outside of Cowboys Stadium before Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Discipline: The Cowboys are currently the most penalized team in the NFL. It seems like every time the team gets in the red zone there are foolish pre-snap penalties. This falls back on the coaching.

Accountability: When he was doing the Jason Garrett show on the Fan, Garrett was asked what he is doing to hold the players accountable for their actions. He said he talks to them and they watch it on tape. Gosh, every week in the post game interviews Jason Garrett has the same answer. We will watch the tape and get better. It’s not working. He said you can’t just bench players for making mistakes and no coach he was ever around did that. That I find comical because Norv Turner recently benched Ryan Matthews for fumbling in the endzone. Andy Reid benched their #1 WR DeSean Jackson for missing a meeting. Ogletree has been given every opportunity to show something over the last few years. The only thing he has shown is that he is consistent at  being inconsistent. Dropping passes, running routes wrong, drawing penalties for failing to get set, and his lack of urgency to get back to the line merit some time on the bench. What is the purpose of keeping 6 WR’s on the roster if Beasley isn’t going to get a shot? Jason Garrett’s continued decision to allow “progress stopping” is also hurting this team.

You can draw your own conclusions, but the fact remains that the Dallas Cowboys defense is #1 in total defense and #2 against the pass. The Garrett led offense is the Achilles heel of this team. Tom Landry has got to be doing flips in his grave seeing how undisciplined and unprepared this once proud franchise has become. What has happened to America’s Team? Jason Garrett happened.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jason Garrett Tony Romo

  • bwall

    Mental errors, penalties, and costly turnovers have plagued this team for years, no matter what players are on the field. The lack of ability to finish a drive without a penalty is astoundingly pathetic. And with a defense being is ranked as high as they are, and getting no takeways is quite surprising. The offense used to be the best unit of this team, now I am not quite sure anymore.

    • boysteamusa

      Dallas simply doesnt seem real hungry! Only Ware, Lee, and Romo seem hungry to me. Jason Garrett does not seem hungry at all….he seems very content that he is HC of the Dallas Cowboys and is still in his inaugeral stage and mindset. I agree with what you have said. This offense remains stuck in slow gear.

  • californy

    It is very evident that JG doesnt know offenses. I talk to a good friends on these site and we were talking about how the Cowboys should approach the season with a bad OL. We discuss the double TE formation as a possibility. We also talk about running game and running on the edges and on the backside of run. This isnt anything new the Cowboys been running like this for years. Kyle Kozier and Flozell were good at blocking on the backside of plays that would go the opposite way. In fact one of the best play the Cowboys had was the delay the boys use to run on the left side of the line. The Cowboys open up with this offensive scheme and had some sucess with the Giants in the first game. In the secound to 4th game the change away from this offensive scheme. The Fb became more of the key in the running game. The problem was this OL was not making holes between the tackles. In fact if you look back to the Ravens game the FB was only used in 15 of the offensive play, the double TE blocking was use almost exclusively through out the game. Dont think we can not pass in this offense either Witten was the secound best receiver in this game only to Dez 13 catches and his yardage.
    JG had it right again, but why does it take him 3 games to figure this out when most team can figure this out during a secound half adjustment. Did you also notice that Ogletree has been pretty much invisible since game number 1 . Why has not JG figure out a way to use his with his skill. JG does not know how to game plan. JG think passing the game exclusively can win game. It doesnt. There are way to streghten you team chance of winning with a bad OL, and the Cowboys were doing this, but somehow they lost their direction. What has happen to this team slant plays that were sucessfull in game one and last season. The hurry up offense has worked for the Cowboys, but it is time the boys run a good no huddle. This requires the offensive player to be able to read the defenses and make the proper adjustments.
    Last year RR had to simplified this defense in order to get the player to do what they need to do. I heard this year they are doing the same with this team offense. It time that JG and JJ start drafting smarter players who can be taugh complicated schemes, MO Claiborne with his low score is not one of those players. In fact smart player make better players. Sean lee has excelled at the LB every place he has ever been, he is averaging more than 10 tackles per game, almost double his nearest team mate. It time JG teach his players how to become better player in the class room. There is talk how great Carter has been at the LB spot, if you look at him he is really trailing on most plays and is rarely B line a player for a tackle. Carter is using his athletic ability to make up fro the fact he doesnty know this team defense. These players are not getting it, and it the job the of the Head Coach to make it happen> JG doesnt need to be hand s on with everything but he has to make sure his assistants give the player the tools and know how on playing the game to win.

  • Jbbravo

    Well said Cas you pointed out every thing a head coach should be getting done. I thought Garrett could turn this team around but I am looking wrong. The thing about that kick is they had a new holder on top of it. I’m sorry have all the faith in your kicker but think that you do have a new holder. They can act like it was the right call but we are not dumb and I feel like that’s the way Jerry treats the fans. For years now we have heard the excuses and things will get fixed but they just get worse. We as fans are the joke of football because of Jerry. We stay loyal to this team but we get laughed at when this circus is put on the field. Yea Jerry owns the team but we are the ones who put money into it. We don’t deserve to have some idiot playing with our team. Jerry as the owner is great but Jerry trying to be the GM and Coach is horrible. I just want a real coach. I know Jerry can get the players that we need in here but we need the coach that run this team. The one who will run it the way he wants and stop letting Jerry make the decisions. We need our team to fail badly or Jerry will never stop playing with our team. That includes us fans to let him know that we are tired of losing. Look at us Jerry can see tickets being sold cowboys stuff being bought he still has what he needs now wake up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/directortom Tom Salagaj

    A “PUPPET” coach like Jason Garrett cannot operate with freedom. He must always be looking over his shoulder at what the owner is saying, doing, ordering, commanding, or otherwise spouting to the media. Regardless of this “broken record” posting of mine, I continue to doubt, as you do, the level of forceful, aggressive coaching that is needed to produce a winning team. I don’t care how smart one is, there must be a high level of “moxy” for the coaching staff. This staff is poorly lacking in NFL Street Smarts. So let it be written, so let it be done.

    • californy

      JG seleceted all of these assistants so it is on him. Jason also has greater insight than most coaches on this team with his brother John as one of his assistant and the other Judd as the Cowboys scouting director. Jason has three votes on player personnel, outside OF JJ that alot of influence.

      • boysteamusa

        a picture is worth a 1000 words. The pic Cas chose of JG stangind there looking loss talking to Romo says it all. He is in over his head.

      • boysteamusa

        A picture is worth a 1000 words. The picture Cas selected at the front of her article showing JG standing there talking to a confident Romo says it all. He’s lost. In WAY over his head but is still relishing it.

  • boysteamusa

    This is your most thought out and well written article that I have seen from you Cowgirlcas. ditto! Players in Dallas has been getting a pass from JJ for years and JG doesnt have the leadership to change it. He is no Tom Landry…the Princeton degree doesnt equate.

    • boysteamusa

      Jason Garrett happened! fully agree.

  • carolina4cowboys

    I am a life long Cowboys fan. Great article!!

  • frank

    i agree 100% cowgirl it’s a joke with the penalties we are palying on a 120 yard field and our opponents are playing on a 80 yard field with all these penalties. I realized exactly what it is for cowboy fans these days it’s like Bill Murray in groundhog day. same every week good drive killed by stupid penalties and same old mistakes game after game after game

  • Jonathan F

    i dont like your article. I think jason is doing a great job. There are different forms of leadership. And Jason has a different style of leadership than some other coaches might have. I know its your job to write articles…do a little more research on leadership before you put some one down.

  • Jonathan F

    I think we are also judging to quickly… give the guy a couple years. He is knew to being a head coach. We cowboy fans seem to analyze and are quick to judge. We dont know what goes on in the locker room.

  • David87124

    In complete agreement +10.

  • David87124

    There is no NFL salary cap on coaches that I am aware of; nor any limit to the number you can have. JG needs to spend some money on good coaches, and enough of them to give “special attention” instruction for the slow to learn. If they aren’t going to coach them up, then why are they drafting dummies? Football smarts, character, and past success are the best predicters of NFL success. A team with well run scouting and coaching staffs can beat a team with workout wonders most all of the time. JG might consider spending some money on a good GM; but I do realize his main thrill in life is playing with “his” franchise – this might be asking too much.

  • [email protected]

    Absolutely love ya Cas! He should either get fire
    d, or be forced to hire a O.C!

  • nhale

    100 % agree. Garrett and Wade Wilson…two third string qb’s coaching.

  • osnappp

    after the giants game, I absolutely hate felix Jones and dez bryant. They should be made examples of and traded out. Those two guys for d. bowe? or anything. Those guys simply do not care about winning. I do have to say jenkins is not better than mo. Jenkins can’t tackle and has done nothing all year. He plays scared. I am so angry with these players. I think our chances of winning go up dramatically with F. jones and d. bryant, spending the rest of the year on the bench.

  • Don Rodino

    Dallas is NOT America’s team (unless 1 playoff win in 15 years and mediocrity define America)

  • Standfirm66

    very very good article, i agree 200%