This time of year, as the sports world braces for the start of another NFL season to begin, it’s not uncommon to discuss job security for our respective NFL coaches. This is especially relevant for those of us who follow the Dallas Cowboys. After back-to-back-to-back 8-8 seasons, head coach Jason Garrett finds himself on the figurative “Hot Seat”.
Everyone from ESPN, to NFL Network, to Dallas Morning News, to Fansided, has been speculating on Jason Garrett’s job security. Many agree Garrett is embarking on a true, make or break season.
Record alone, Garrett seems to be operating on borrowed time. When Jason Garrett took the reins from Wade Phillips in 2010 he inherited a talented but uninspired team. The players had essentially given up on the season, prompting owner Jerry Jones to do a personally-despised midseason coaching change. The change helped as the Cowboys picked up the intensity and ended the season winning 5 of 8.
Unfortunately that didn’t carry over into subsequent seasons.
Garrett’s talent level remained relatively strong the next two seasons. Expectations were high yet results fell short. 8-8 in 2011 followed by 8-8 in 2012, allowed the optimists to stay half full while the pessimists sat half empty.
Things fell apart in 2013 as salary cap problems, devastating injuries, and underperforming players, spelled doom for Garrett’s Cowboys team. Despite all of the obstacles, the Cowboys found a way to once again find .500. This time it was by collectively overachieving.
Once again the Cowboys find themselves in an ugly-looking situation. The defensive roster has been churned and questions are absolutely everywhere. On paper, the 2014 defense looks terrible. It’s difficult to find many ways this 2014 team is better than Garrett’s earlier teams, yet somehow expectations remain the same – Playoffs.
With such difficult expectations to achieve, and such immense obstacles in the way, Jason Garrett is given the very difficult task of succeeding and subsequently saving his job. But does Jason Garrett actually have to succeed in order to save his job?
Say what you will about Jerry Jones but he’s not blind. His optimism sells tickets (his primary source of team income) so he has to be optimistic publicly. Jerry will never admit it, but he knows the hurdles that must be overcome just to reach the now-customary 8-8 record. Maybe Jones realizes the obstacles Garrett faces this season and will judge him accordingly.
What do you think it will take for Jason Garrett to keep his job?
Is Jason Garrett realistically on the Hot Seat or is he safe? Email me and let me hear it this week’s mailbag!
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