If there’s one consistent thing about the Dallas Cowboys, it’s headlines regarding the team. No matter how good or bad the team is any given year, the media blows anything that happens with the franchise out of proportion. Add this one to the top of the list: a team source told a local Dallas radio host that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is unhappy with his head coach and offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett. The same source also said don’t be surprised if Sean Payton is coaching the Cowboys in 2013.
After you’re done rolling your eyes, we’ll analyze the possibility of all this coming to pass.
Has anyone noticed the sky-rocketing number of delay of game penalties called against Romo since Garrett took over as head coach? They’ve nearly tripled on a per-season basis and it’s no coincidence. Romo has made more audibles from plays called by Garrett than any previous time in his career and that’s both helping and hurting Dallas.
Of the plays Romo has called that contrast from Garrett’s, nearly 75 percent of them have resulted in positive plays of four yards or more. However, calling those plays takes time and the Cowboys’ offense isn’t responding well to so many audibles. Dallas’ makeshift offensive line is missing blocking assignments and the Cowboys’ receivers are running the wrong routes, which has resulted in a truckload of interceptions by Romo, 13 through eight games to be exact.
Everyone knows Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is fond of and loyal to Garrett, but they also know Jones is head over heels in love with Romo as his quarterback. That means if Romo ain’t happy, Jones ain’t happy.
Enter Payton, the ex-New Orleans Saints head coach who is now a free agent, free to sign with any team after the end of the 2012 season, after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell voided Payton’s new contract signed in September 2011. Payton worked under Bill Parcells with the Cowboys in the early 2000s, so he already has ties to the team.
Romo is unhappy with Garrett, the Cowboys are losing because of Garrett, Payton has ties to Dallas and is available for hire. Anyone else seeing an easy scenario here for Jones?
Sure, Jones says Garrett’s job is safe and all the talk about him being on the hot seat is just speculation and he has “a lot of faith and a lot of confidence] in his head coach, but that’s the same horse radish he said in 2010 and then fired Wade Phillips less than 24 hours later.
Some NFL analysts, including former players, have said it’s only a matter of time before Payton becomes the Cowboys’ head coach. That may be true, but it can’t happen before the end of the season and if the Saints give Payton a new contract before the Cowboys are allowed to talk to him in the spring, all of this speculation might evaporate. However, don’t count anything out when Jones is involved.