For the last few years, fans and media members alike have criticized Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett for being spineless and/or clueless when it comes to his job and have cited those facts as the reasons why America’s Team can’t finish close games. However, ex-Cowboys safety Will Allen offers an entirely different explanation on the cause for the Cowboys’ woes and it starts with the man at the top.
Even those same media members calling for Garrett’s firing know what the real issue is in Dallas: Jerry Jones. The problem is Jones won’t fire himself, so Garrett gets the heat, especially when he does things like ice his own kicker. And although Allen claimed to have respect for Jones, he made it clear the Cowboys’ owner/general manager is holding the team back.
Allen went as far as to say the Cowboys’ “coaches are some of the best in the business.” That’s big news to the outside world, but it’s a drop in the bucket of the enlightenment Allen offered about Dallas after four games with the Cowboys and six games with the Pittsburgh Steelers this year:
“It was a very micromanaged atmosphere. Everything was heightened; everything was tight. I didn’t feel the relationship and the bonding between players and coaches.”
Allen went on to say the Cowboys have a tremendous roster and that the lack of chemistry between players and coaches isn’t because of a lack of effort — it’s because the philosophy of success in Dallas is extremely flawed. The 10-year veteran said the micromanaging in Dallas prevents players from playing with passion and thus building camaraderie with one another and the coaching staff. Compared to Pittsburgh, Allen said Dallas doesn’t give its players a chance to prove themselves; instead, players of high status (first-round draft picks and highly-paid free agents) are handed starting jobs that are set in stone, regardless of performance.
All the real Cowboys fans are nodding in agreement right now while reading this.
Another reason why “players of status” as Allen described keep their jobs so long is because they are holding the Cowboys hostage from a salary cap standpoint because of the backloaded contracts Jones gives them. Dallas was forced to leave Roy Williams the receiver and Terence Newman in action a lot longer than desired because they counted so much toward the cap, even if they were cut. So the Cowboys had to keep them on the field and on the roster, even they they were hurting the team and the organization. Again, the problem starts with the man making these decisions and although Allen didn’t say that directly, but it’s clear what he meant.