The Dallas Cowboys have lost their last three games in as many weeks and while the bulk of the blame should fall at the feet of Jason Garrett, firing him now is not the answer.
The hate has been real. Whether you’re on twitter or listening to local radio, the man known league-wide as “the clapper” is getting the bulk of the blame for the Dallas Cowboys recent struggles. Dallas’ Head Coach, Jason Garrett, has been coaching on borrowed time for a couple seasons now and after three avoidable losses, his credit limit on that “borrowed time” may have run out.
This season marks yet another season of his failure to meet expectations. Coming off a powerful campaign last season, Dallas was said to have one of their deepest and most promising rosters since those glory days in the 90s. But true to form, Garrett’s Cowboys have found a way to fall short of even modest early season expectations.
It’s become pretty clear to most, to even the most steadfast of Jason Garrett’s supporters, that Coach Garrett isn’t the answer in Dallas. And playing on the last year of his contract makes his eventual exodus all but assured. But is the time now?
Jerry Jones knows mid-season coaching changes don’t work. He also knows this team is still fighting and perfectly capable of righting the ship down the stretch.
Only three weeks ago we were praising this Dallas Cowboys team on all corners of Cowboys Nation. Sure we had our doubts based on the quality of competition faced, but we felt fairly confident this was a team built to make a run in the postseason.
In a results-based business like professional sports, Garrett haters bit their tongues and enjoyed the ride.
Three loses later – everything changed. Everything except Jerry Jones’ support, that is. Following Sunday’s loss, when wounds were still fresh and tongues were loose with emotion, Jerry Jones looked legitimately supportive. Wanna know why?
Jerry Jones knows mid-season coaching changes don’t work. He also knows this team is still fighting and perfectly capable of righting the ship down the stretch. Acting now puts the best case scenario in jeopardy and basically concedes the season.
Mid-season changes don’t work
According to Top Level Sports, between 2000 and 2015 we saw 26 NFL head coaches lose their jobs mid-season. Their replacements only fared slightly better than the underachiever they replaced (6 percent improvement) and none of the replacements turned the team they took over into a playoff contender.
Furthermore, only 35% of the replacements hung on keep their job beyond the “interim” designation and only one of them could be seen as a bona fide success and retained his post beyond three seasons – a guy named Jason Garrett (that’s right, Garrett is THE success story).
Why such little success?
Because no good options are available mid-season.
Internal candidates (current assistant coaches) somehow escape blame for the underachieving they helped foster beforehand (a problem in itself). And taking the helm mid-season means they can only lightly impact the standard operating procedures of a franchise and must make their biggest impact in culture and game management. Not only is this an unfair trail period in which to be judged, but it’s possibly destructive to that coach’s development.
Outside options are even worse. Since outside assistant coaches are unavailable for poaching, Jerry Jones would be forced to look at the unemployment line for answers to his coaching vacancy. Knowing that unemployed coaches are often unemployed for a reason, this is a tough sell to even Jason Garrett’s biggest haters.
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Wait it out
Even if we can all agree Jason Garrett must be replaced, it makes the most sense to wait this out. We see teams turn it around mid-season all the time, we even saw the Dallas Cowboys do it last season after starting 3-5.
And if the downward spiral continues, Jerry Jones will get a full talent pool to pick from this winter when he’s hunting for Garrett’s replacement (rather than forcing a promising assistant to flounder the rest of 2019).
Even if you don’t like Garrett, it’s in the Dallas Cowboys best interests to wait this out and see if he can turn this season around. We can still replace him in the offseason, it just gives the team a better chance to win now, and Jerry a better talent pool to pick from later.
- Published on 10/15/2019 at 12:45 PM
- Last updated at 10/15/2019 at 12:45 PM