Cowboys: What Exactly Is The Process


We’ve all heard it, “Trust the process,” the question needs to be asked, “What exactly is the process?”

Since head coach Jason Garrett took over for Wade Phillips, Garrett has spoke endlessly about “the process.” It has been a long road, many 8-8 seasons, one winning season, and the disaster that is 2015. How is that process working? When does anyone start seeing real results?

If this season has shown anything it is there are major flaws with the Cowboys. Almost everyone can agree that Jerry Jones is a huge problem with the way he manages personnel moves. But, the lack of starting quarterback Tony Romo, has also shown that Jason Garrett is not as good as many have thought over the years.

It looks like the Cowboys would possibly be 1-15 had Romo been out all season. If that sounds familiar to you, it is the record the 1989 Dallas Cowboys had. The one win came against the Redskins, kind of ironic, don’t you think (Thanks Alanis Morisette)? I remember that season well, and yet there seemed to be more hope with that one.

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Think back…

Jerry Jones was the new owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jimmy Johnson was a first year head coach, and the Cowboys had a guy named Troy Aikman starting his first year at quarterback. But it felt as though, even through the 1-15 season, the Cowboys had all the makings of moving up in the league, and we know of course they did.

Flash forward to 2015…

The Cowboys have an aging Jerry Jones, a head coach who has one winning season, and an aging and oft injured quarterback on the down side of his career. There are some stark differences. But again, it is all about the process right?

Over the last few years, fans and experts have been screaming to improve the defense and get a backup QB to groom under Romo.

While the defense has gotten somewhat better, the tackling is still atrocious, the coverage is spotty, and turnovers are a distant memory. But let’s be fair, when your offense can’t even get first downs, no defense is going to hold up for all four quarters. When an opposing offense can be on the field over 80 plays, they know the defense will wear out quickly. It all comes back around.

The offense without Romo has not just been bad, it has been almost non-existent. While it wasn’t great with Romo in this season, he gives the team a chance to win almost every game. The lack of a quality backup has shown all of the weaknesses in the offense.

One of those weaknesses is the play-calling.

Sure, Jason Garrett doesn’t call plays anymore. But make no mistake, the offense and its design is his. The vanilla version of the Don “Air” Coryell doesn’t have a lot of unexpected things in it. It is weird watching games with fans from any team, they seem to know the play just as much as a Dallas fan does. There isn’t much mystery, again, maybe it is the process.

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So what exactly is the process? I am not sure anyone really knows that answer. The process thus far has turned into mediocre success. The lack of creativity in the passing game without Romo shows that maybe the playcalling and variation hasn’t been Garrett and his beloved process, but maybe Tony Romo is better than even his biggest supporters give him credit for.

It is assured Jerry Jones will keep Garrett at least one more year. Another bomb of a season like this, regardless of who is injured, might be the death knell for Garrett as the coach. Even if Jason Garrett tells everyone the process is to continue to start Matt Cassel at quarterback and not even give a chance to Kellen Moore, it is his process.

It is the process that has brought the Cowboys to one winning season with Jason Garrett as head coach. It is the same process that has led to a bland offense. The same process means watching Garrett clap on the sidelines for every bad play like it was a good one. The process means saying,” Kellen Moore is on the team for a reason” and yet saying “Matt Cassel gives us the best chance to win.”

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We all have to trust the process, even if none of us know what it is, what it will bring, or if we should buy into it. It is the process we have and until Jerry Jones decides the process is broken, we all have to watch what the Cowboys do at least for another season. It is all part of the process.