Dallas Cowboys: Are injuries really an excuse for Jason Garrett?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Tight end James Hanna
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Tight end James Hanna /

The ’17 Dallas Cowboys were cursed with injuries and suspensions, however, looking at the Vikings and the Eagles, are those really an excuse for Jason Garrett?

If anyone had told you that Case Keenum and Nick Foles would be playing in the NFC Championship at the start of the season, I would have asked to see their Delorean. However, here we are, about to see backups play for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. One of the backups is actually the third string QB! This just points to Jason Garrett and some of his flaws over the last few seasons.

One of the things many state in defense of Jason Garrett, has been injuries to key players. However, looking at the Vikings and the Eagles, are injuries really the reason Garrett hasn’t been successful? Maybe, but these two teams did not let injuries to very key players be the reason they didn’t win.

Good coaches and coaching staffs adjust for players being injured. The Vikings had to adjust their entire offense because Case Keenum is simply not Sam Bradford. They are two totally different players. Mike Zimmer (who was once a Cowboys coach) had to adjust to the injury and play to the strengths of Keenum.

the fact these players got a really bad rep in Dallas, yet play so well elsewhere could be a sign that maybe it wasn’t all them, but the scheme and coaching.

Looking back on some of the major issues of Jason Garrett, one of the biggest is his inability to adjust. This is more than adjusting during a game too. When Tony Romo went down, the Dallas Cowboys tried to run the exact same offense with Matt Cassell and Brandon Weeden. This caused some obvious problems. Looking at 2017, the injuries to Tyron Smith and Sean Lee are just the latest case in point. Even the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott showed a lack of ability to adjust.

With new coaches coming to Dallas the onus is now completely on Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, and Rod Marinelli. If they continue on the same path they have been on, this could spell the end of the trio as the top three coaches in Dallas, or, at least, it should be.

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The inability to adjust as a coach is only part of the story for Jason Garrett. If we look at some of the coaches and players in both championship games, you will see a lot of former Cowboys who were cast off as failures or declining players. However, it seems many of them have had some of the best seasons of their careers.

First, there are several coaches who were former Dallas Cowboys coaches that were cast aside for Jason Garrett and his staff. Mike Zimmer, Tony Sporano, and Andre Patterson are all part of the Vikings staff. The Eagles have a coach who was an intern in 1995 in Chris Wilson. Oh and the Jags have Tony Sporano’s son.

But, let’s move on to the players, as this is only a piece to the problem.

Looking at Barry Church‘s play for the Jacksonville Jaguars, makes many wonder if it was him or the scheme in Dallas. Signs point to the scheme after Church had arguably his best NFL season this year. Even Terrance Newman had a solid year for the Vikings. Jermey Parnell played fantastic for the Jaguars at right tackle, and as always, Danny Amendola was a key player in New England.

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Sure, maybe it was time to move on from these players and maybe cost was a factor.

However, the fact these players got a really bad rep in Dallas, yet play so well elsewhere could be a sign that maybe it wasn’t all them, but the scheme and coaching. This is conjecture, sure, but there has to be even a small amount of truth to this.

When you take all of this and combine it with what Brice Butler said this week on FS1 and what several players have said about the Dallas Cowboys’ scheme, then maybe Jason Garrett is overrated by many, to include Jerry Jones.

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Jason Garrett probably has one more year to prove he is more than a coach who can just make it to the playoffs. Next season could be the last for Jason Garrett, unless he and his staff can adjust and overcome their shortcomings. If not, it could be an even longer offseason next year.