The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a terrible season and Jason Garrett still the head coach. The question is now whether Jason Garrett is a problem, or the problem.
Say you own a professional football team and your head coach has a .500 win/loss record with one win and one loss in the playoffs. Would you keep that coach after five years or would you look to go in a different direction?
What if that coach has a history with you and doesn’t really argue with you about how you run the team as the owner?
This is basically where Jason Garrett falls as an NFL head coach.
On one hand, many of the players really seem to like Garrett’s approach and how he handles players. On the other hand, the fans seemingly don’t like a lot of the same repeated mistakes from Garrett over the last five seasons.
The owner Jerry Jones loves that Garrett is his “yes man” and allows the Jones’ to run the team as they see fit.
Last season, when Jerry Jones brought in Greg Hardy, never once did Jason Garrett balk at this move. Garrett accepted Hardy on the team and moved forward without as much as a peep about his stance on Hardy.
Now that Hardy isn’t on the team it would seem that Garrett wasn’t exactly a fan of the move. However, he did what Jones wanted him to do, keep his mouth shut and coach. Coaching is Garrett’s job, but he was supposed to have more decisions over personnel.
Fans are tired of seeing the same thing year in and year out from Garrett. One of the quickest things many fans point out is his horrific of clock management. It has driven fans crazy to see Garrett start trying to run out the clock with a quarter left to play.
His playcalling at the end of halves has been head scratching at times and he seems to not understand how to get his team down the field in tight situations.
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Another issue with Garrett is his conservative nature in closing out games. Year after year, Garrett refuses to put his foot on the gas or go for the kill shot against opponents. The Cowboys will be up by 21 points and he instantly goes into run, run, run, or run, short pass, run modes. He tries to chew up the cloak regardless of how much time is left in the game.
Watch any of the top teams in the NFL and they don’t stop until they know they have the game late in the fourth quarter, and even then sometimes they don’t slow down. Garrett doesn’t do any of these things.
If you ask any fan in the NFL which coach stands on the sidelines and claps after bad plays, the answer will be Jason Garrett every time. The Cowboys have had some heartbreaking interceptions, fumbles, or bad plays and every time the cameras pan to Jason Garrett he is clapping, trying to motivate his team.
Most coaches will at least find the player who made a mistake and talk to him about what the mistake was and how to fix it, sometimes it gets heated. Garrett, however, is more of a cheerleader than a down to business coach.
There are some good things about Garrett, don’t mistake this as a Jason Garrett is the worst coach ever article. Garrett has the restraint to not lose his mind on the media and takes the heat quite well as a coach. He does seem to understand the game of football in a sense of Xs and Os. The Cowboys could and have done far worse than Garrett.
This isn’t saying the Cowboys could find a better head coach, but Garrett is what Jerry Jones has put his faith in. Garrett needs to show fans this season that he can put teams away and have a killer instinct. This season every time Garrett claps after a bad play look at how the players respond to him. It isn’t what you think, it is like they walk past him and not pay attention to him.
So Garrett is a problem for the Cowboys. While there are fans out there who love what Garrett brings. There are a ton of coaches who can go .500 over 5 seasons. If he doesn’t get much better, maybe it is time for the Cowboys to get rid of the problem. If not, then we should all get used to clapping.