The Dallas Cowboys have struggled mightily in 2017 under the watchful eye of Jason Garrett but what exactly would it take to make a coaching change?
The Dallas Cowboys are in an absolute tailspin that almost seems self-induced. They have failed to score more than 10 points in the last three games and got annihilated by the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Chargers.
Now the team is on the fringes of playoff contention as one more loss could guarantee that the Cowboys are sitting at home in January. There have been a lot of distractions this season but how much of this season and it’s outcome is on head coach, Jason Garrett?
Well, that is a tough question. Garrett does not make the play calls but he is the head coach. He does not seem to like making adjustments during the course of a game and that has cost the Dallas Cowboys majorly this season.
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So far during Garrett’s tenure as head coach, he has had three 8-8 seasons, two outstanding seasons 2014/2016 where the team went 12-4 and 13-3, and two bad seasons that have had outside forces impacting the outcomes.
The first bad season Garrett had was in 2015 when the lack of a backup to Tony Romo was apparent. The second is the 2017 season and without Ezekiel Elliott on the field, you cannot really blame Garrett for the way this season has gone.
So what exactly is Garrett, an 8-8 coach, an elite coach, or a bad coach? We still do not know, one thing is clear though several things need to change. Worst case scenario, the Dallas Cowboys lose every game they have left on the schedule, that will provide the team with a top 10 draft pick and a reason to be hopeful.
Best case scenario, the Cowboys win out, get lucky, and make the playoffs. If Dallas has a mixed bag of results like going say 8-8 than the Cowboys will be forced to pick much later in the draft and will still miss any postseason glory.
Garrett is the head of this coaching staff so he is likely the guy feeling the most pressure. Scott Linehan has a great relationship with this offense and Rod Marinelli is literally building a new defense from scratch which requires time.
This coaching staff may only have a year to prove that they are viable candidates to lead this young team to the promise land as another season as bad as this will not be tolerated.
The 2017 season came with baggage, the Zeke suspension, along with others, 2018 will finally be the time we see most of the Dallas Cowboys on the field from Week One (we hope).
Even embattled pass rusher Randy Gregory should finally make his way into the lineup. With a full cadre of weapons on both sides of the ball and a fresh crop of draft picks and potentially free agent talent, Garrett will have to feel his seat warming if the team continues to lose games.
There is too much talent on this roster to get outscored by this wide of a margin. There is also the matter of finding a replacement coach, and there is not an exciting candidate waiting in the wings.
Until a guy like Tony Romo, John Gruden, or Bill Cowher are rumored to be heading to Dallas to coach this ball club it seems unlikely that the Cowboys will leave Garrett or any other member of this coaching staff out in the cold.
There are several young an interesting options that could pay off in the future. Of course, I would have to mention Matt Patricia (New England defensive coordinator), he has done amazing things with a bare cupboard during his tenure and continue to impress NFL franchises.
There is also his offensive counterpart Josh McDaniels who will be the hottest head coaching candidate on the market whenever he does decide to leave New England. Then there is a Jim Bob Cooter the quarterback whisperer, he has made Matt Stafford an awful lot of money recently.
He has also made the Detroit Lions one of the best teams in the NFC North and they should only get better. I would find it odd that the Cowboys could potentially have two former Detroit Lions coaches on their staff, however, they both are very talented at what they do.
The Dallas Cowboys could also go in a completely different direction and look at the Philadelphia Eagles offensive and defensive coordinators Frank Reich and Jim Schwartz.
Having someone with inside knowledge of what a primary rival is up too would go a long way into being able to derail the Eagles freight train of enthusiasm. Either guy will likely get a head coaching role if they ever leave Philadelphia.
So yes, while many fans are frustrated the Dallas Cowboys best option right now is to roll with the group of guys we have, it is that simple. 2018 and beyond is a different story and if an incredibly talented offensive or defensive coordinator is looking for a job, the Cowboys may have to make an exception.