Cowboys: Jason Garrett Should Be Fired


Jason Garrett has worn out his welcome as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys following seven-straight losses.

It’s time that Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was shown the door. It matters not if Dallas scrapes its way to the top of the NFC East and backs into the playoffs. The feeling will remain that a number of other head coaches could do more with a team battered by injuries.

There’s a reason why the Tamps Bay Buccaneers came into Sunday’s game with a record of 3-5. This is a below-average team that aspires to be an NFC South contender in the next few seasons.

The Cowboys are well below that level, as they have been since starting quarterback Tony Romo went down with a broken collarbone on Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then, the Cowboys look like a team that’s much younger and less talented than they actually are.

Garrett was ushered into an offensive coordinator position just three years following his retirement from the NFL as a career-backup quarterback. The Princeton graduate served just two years as a quarterbacks coach with the Miami Dolphins before Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made him a top priority for his new coaching staff following the 2006 season. Jones hired Garrett even before Bill Parcells replacement Wade Phillips had been hired – what if Phillips had said no to Garrett operating as a rookie offensive coordinator and assistant head coach with no experience?

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We’ll never know, although I’m certain that Jones would have just found somebody else who wanted the job bad enough to look the other way.

When Phillips was fired following that 1-7 start to the 2010 campaign, one that also included a broken collarbone for Romo, Garrett was tagged as the obvious interim head coach and the Cowboys actually won a few games to finish 6-10.

In each year that followed, Garrett brought forth 8-8 football teams until last season, when Dallas exploded to an out-of-nowhere 12-4 record and a playoff victory over the Detroit Lions, just the second such win since Garrett has stood on the sidelines with the Cowboys while wearing a headset.

This season has a feel much like that 2010 season that brought on significant changes for the future, although it’s highly debatable the further into the future we go that the key change, Garrett named permanent head coach, was appropriate.

Can anyone tell me exactly what Garrett does at this point in his training as an NFL coaching person?

In his brief time as head coach, Garrett hasn’t exactly brought much in the way of results to America’s Team. If you take away 2014, he’s arguably brought nothing.

I wrote earlier last week that the Cowboys were facing a do-or-die situation in Tampa Bay. The Cowboys responded with a 6-10 loss, which included the NFL’s now-weekly diet of confused officials making calls that just don’t impact football games – yes, I get the whole ‘protect the investment’ thing, but consistency is absolutely lost where NFL officiating is concerned.

Garrett has had close to two months to start crafting game plans that would enable the Cowboys to at least steal a couple of wins that might have saved the season, or at least given it hope.

That hope is all but gone now.

At this point, NBC sportscaster Al Michaels’ 1980 phrase, “Do you believe in miracles?” is really all that may apply.

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Dallas could win all of it’s remaining games and still only finish with a record of 9-7, which would be a major accomplishment. That certainly doesn’t mean that the Cowboys would qualify as winner of the NFC East – forget Wild Card talk.

Garrett has overseen some of the most vanilla game plans I’ve ever seen this team run while also failing miserably in terms of getting this team out of the business of committing needless penalties, which generally work quite hard at wasting a week’s preparation for a given opponent.

When you’re losing games like Dallas has for the last month, mistakes and failures to execute are the reasons why.

At what point did Garrett decide to gamble a little and give his team the best chance to succeed? When did he ever attempt to steal momentum in a single football game?

Garrett never did.

Instead, this fifth-year novice head coach, who doesn’t even run the offense anymore, has coached this team as though the 1985 Chicago Bears defense is residing in Dallas now. The conservative nature of his game plans combined with penalties are inexcusable.

This is not exactly a head coach who’s big on accountability, a quality that every successful Cowboys head coach has possessed in decades past. In the wake of Sunday’s virtual offensive ‘no show’ against the lowly Buccaneers, FOX NFL Sunday commentator Terry Bradshaw suggests that Dallas needs a different kind of head coach. Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News captured the following from Bradshaw on Sunday’s broadcast:

"If there is one thing I would change in Dallas, it’s that they need a head coach that people fear a little bit, someone they are scared of getting on the wrong side of."

Precisely why I felt that Garrett should have been let go of right along with Phillips back in ’10.

Garrett is a completely non-confrontational type that has no real interest in making waves – his coaching style completely reflects this major character flaw that seldom works in any type of leadership position.

To think that Garrett’s name, at least at one time, was being muttered in the same breath as a legend like Tom Landry is laughable. Has there been anything Garrett has brought forth that should be identified as innovative – Landry brought that on both sides of the ball.

The chances are basically zero that Jones acknowledges that Garrett simply isn’t cut out for this type of job and moves on to a better candidate for the position. Chances are about the same that Dallas drafts a quarterback with one of its first two selections in the 2016 NFL Draft.

At least the Cowboys are in good shape at the quarterback position, something proven rather well during the absence of one of the games top-5 passers in Romo.

The same can’t be said of the head coach, and it doesn’t matter how many different and better qualified assistants are brought in to mask that fact.

Everyone realized that times would be tough without Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant for most of the first half of the season. I don’t know that anyone could have foretold that the Cowboys wouldn’t be able to scrape together as many as a couple of wins during the process of just trying to get healthy. Had Dallas just been blown out of every contest then we’d really know the true worth of Romo and Bryant.

This has not been the case.

Dallas has lost two games by 6 points in overtime when its offense never stepped on the field. Another loss came by 7 points and two others by a total of 4 points. Beyond the second-half defensive collapse against the Atlanta Falcons on Week 3 and the complete embarrassment against the New England Patriots on Week 5, each Cowboys loss was, in fact, quite winnable.

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Garret was able to deliver not once – and I’m obviously not counting the 1-point escape against the New York Giants Week 1 and the great defensive performance Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The reality is that both sides of the ball suffer under Garrett, a fact that must change if this team is ever really going to become a contender, healthy or not.