After what looked to be a hopeful season, the Cowboys and Jason Garrett fall short again. Is Jason Garrett the new Marty Schottenheimer?
Before we go into the Marty vs Garrett issue, this was a difficult article to write. The Dallas Cowboys had a fantastic regular season and the future looks good, but not winning again in the playoffs means the 2016 season was another futile effort in the history of Jason Garrett.
While there are things to look forward to and hopefully an offseason of defensive improvements, questioning Jason Garrett and his staff is a fair thing to do.
Anyone who remembers Marty Schottenheimer remembers “Martyball.” Martyball was effective in the regular season, but once the playoffs started it was an abject failure. He has the most wins of any coach in the regular season since 1966, and never took a team to the Super Bowl. In fact, he only won five of eighteen playoff games in total. He is the only coach with over 200 wins and a losing playoff record.
Jason Garrett, has won exactly one playoff game since he became the Dallas Cowboys head coach. He is responsible for his staff, even if he is no longer doing play-calling duties. He takes the responsibility of the odd play-calling, the unprepared team, and all coaching miscues. All of these made an appearance yet again in the loss against the Packers.
First, the decision to throw a wide receiver screen on 2nd and 1 was questionable at best. The fact the Cowboys kept getting away from the run when the Packers couldn’t stop it has to fall on Garrett and his staff.
They tend to overthink and get too cute in games. It wasn’t just the screen, but the lack of running the ball near the end of the game to chew up clock. The three straight passes up the seam in the red zone to Jason Witten, and not forcing the Packers to have to stop Ezekiel Elliott should cause pause to fans.
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Second, Garrett’s inability to have the team prepared for the famous Aaron Rodgers too many men plays is solely on Garrett and his staff. Sure, it is questionable the Packers have their hand on the ball before the whistle is blown to start play, but the Cowboys should have known the Packers do this. This points to a lack of discipline as was also evident of the false starts and the bizarre unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Sure, the officiating in the game was poor. However, the Cowboys have had these issues since Garrett has been the head coach. His constant questionable challenges, time management, and play-calling haven’t changed since he took over. It all points to the possibility of Garrett being the new Schottenheimer. Good enough for the regular season, but not for the post season.
While the future of the offense looks bright and hopefully the Cowboys can patch the obvious defensive holes in the offseason, Garrett’s ability has to be questioned, again. Quite a lot of fans have said this season was a success, however, another loss from Garrett in the playoffs after clinching the number one seed, shouldn’t be seen as successful. Success isn’t just a regular season thing, just ask Marty Schottenheimer.