Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys and Jason Garrett, the first two phrases that comes to mind are “favorite son” or “patience”. Cowboys fans everywhere couldn’t understand why Jerry Jones kept Garrett around, a coach who had three straight 8-8 seasons and had lost some games because of poor clock management or because he wore too many hats. There hasn’t been a Cowboys coach who lasted as long as Garrett did without making the playoffs in his first three seasons.
Especially under Jones.
The only Cowboys coach to do that was the great Tom Landry. And he didn’t have a winning season until his sixth year. But it wasn’t under Jones.
The reason Jones stuck by Garrett through those mediocre years is because he simply believed in Garrett as a great coach with a great football mind. His dream came to fruition when Garrett guided the Cowboys to the NFC East title and a 12 win season. And a Wild Card win over the Detroit Lions. Only to lose a hard fought game against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.
Garrett went 13-5 overall and the Cowboys exceeded everyone’s expectations this season. Even Jones didn’t see this one coming. The Cowboys jumped out to a 6-1 start, beat teams in convincing fashion, kept winning and shocked the world. Besides having talented players, Garrett deserves the credit for having a succesful season.
Because Garrett preached the “FINISHTHEFIGHT” attitude. He motivated the team to step it up after Sean Lee went down with a torn ACL injury, after DeVonte Holloman had a career ending neck injury and when Morris Claiborne was done for the year with an ACL injury. All of this happened to the defense, the weakest part of the team. Injury after injury, week after week, Garrett kept the Cowboys focused, not allowing them to have a pity party or play victim.
Garrett had to deal with the injuries and the expectations of going 3-13, 5-11 or 0-16, depending on what football expert you were listening too. Not to mention he was operating in the last year of his contract with no playoff apperarnces. Only to lose the final game of the season three straight years to the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles.
Eliminating the Cowboys from the playoffs.
But no worries from Garrett, either. He didn’t blink at all. Even after the Cowboys home opener loss to the 49ers, when Tony Romo threw three interceptions. Or when Romo injured his back and missed a game. Or when the Cowboys had a two game losing streak.
Garrett didn’t panic. He rallied his team like a General preparing his soldiers for war. Fighting as an underdog along the way. Winning battle after battle.
This is what Jones envisioned back in 2007 when he hired Garrett as the offensive coordinator. And this is what he expected from Garrett when he named him the interim head coach midway through the 2010 season.
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As a result of the Cowboys spectacular season, Jones rewarded Garrett with a five year contract extension.
The last coach in Cowboys history to get a longer contract was the man who wore the Fedora hat. Mr. Landry. He signed a 10 year contract extension with a losing record.
But we know what Landry accomplished with his Hall of Fame career. Two Super Bowl titles and five Super Bowl appearances. 20 straight winning seasons.
That’s what Jones envisions with Garrett.
He reaped the benefits this season. Then some.
Hopefully, many more will come.
Because Jones experienced it. Garrett brought his Cowboys back.
Back to relevancy.
And that’s why he resigned him.