Jan 20, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; Dallas Cowboys ownerJerry Jones
with head coachJason Garrett
seen in the stands of the North squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Last week I argued that the Dallas Cowboys were two years away from Super Bowl contention, given the great potential of their offense and the several missing pieces in their defense. But what would happen if Jerry Jones, not known for his patience, fire Jason Garret before?
I strongly believe that even if the Cowboys don’t make the playoffs this season, Garrett should stay as the Head Coach of this team. He has built the foundation of a winning team for years to come; namely, a young and powerful offensive line.
This is the guy that has made Jerry Jones (of all people!) select offensive linemen in the first round of three out of four drafts. The year they didn’t pick an offensive lineman, they made a blockbuster deal to grab one of the biggest busts in recent memory: Morris Claiborne. That deal had all the signs of being Jerry’s call; the guy just can’t help himself, he loves the spotlight and that move certainly put him there, at least for a couple of weeks after the draft…
That’s why Jason Garrett has to stay around. Because somehow he manages to do an excellent damage control of his owner’s decisions. Three out of four is not that bad, actually it’s great given the standards this franchise has grown accustomed to for the last two decades.
Garrett knows how to deal with Jerry. Yes, there are those boring linemen as proof, but you can also notice Jason influence in the way the Cowboys are dealing with their aging stars. Before Garrett taking charge as head coach, Jerry loved to hand money away to his best players. He loves to be loved and, what better way to get some love than giving millions away? The thing is he actually thinks that’s how you build a championship-winning team.
Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) celebrates a sack with defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (97) against the St. Louis Rams in the first quarter of the game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Without Garrett around, thirty-something players like Demarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher would still be two very rich Cowboys. The problem with Jerry’s philosophy of paying age, is that there is something called the salary cap, and when you pay a ransom to keep around your aging stars, you have nothing left to pay for decent players to play with them.
Garrett knows better.
Besides, there’s no way that pre-Garrett Jerry would have let a guy known as Johnny Football to slip away from him in the draft. Manziel is the Broadway Joe of our age, maybe a YouTube Johnny or whatever; but that kid from Texas A&M was a God-sent gift to Jerry, the perfect product for his ailing franchise; a marketing dream come truth. But somehow, someway, Jerry picked yet another offensive lineman. That’s Garrett influence.
I know that Garrett has had his good share of gaffes, that he has been learning on the job and that he’s running out of time. But building a winning team takes time and he’s been doing it the right way, by getting the right kind of players and replacing old vets with younger, hungrier and cheaper players.
The offense is ready to be one of the best in the league, there should be no excuses if it fails to reach those expectations and Garret should be fired if the offense falters. But the defense is still a couple of years away from being ready and, what would Jerry do if the Cowboys fail to reach the playoffs once again?