Being a head coach in the NFL is a very tough job. It’s even tougher when you’re the leader of the Dallas Cowboys. Add in a general manger, president and owner Jerry Jones, who’s looking over your shoulder every second, and it becomes frustrating.
There has been immense pressure on Jason Garrett since he took over for Wade Phillips, but Jerry Jones won’t fire him.
Jones is notorious for holding on to players he likes a little longer than he should. This case is no different. Garrett, a former Cowboys quarterback, played for Jones in the 1990s backing up Troy Aikman. He has a history with the Cowboys, and Jones always takes care of his own.
Garrett, in my eyes, is not head coach material. I think he is a good offensive mind, but that doesn’t always translate up the coaching ladder. There have been excuses for his mediocrity ever since taking over as Cowboys head coach.
“He was playing with Wade Phillips’ players.”
“He hasn’t had a defense to work with.”
“He’s had to rebuild the offensive line.”
“Romo has been hurt.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aside from injuries aren’t these just normal duties that need to be addressed by any head coach? I know he can’t be blamed for injuries, but a good coach adapts and builds a roster with players who can step up when needed.
Many will argue that it’s Jones’ responsibility to take care of all personnel decisions, and at times that logic is correct. Jones will be judge, jury and executioner on some player decisions.
Terrell Owens was brought in via free agency when it was obvious Bill Parcells wanted nothing to do with him. It is hard for me to believe that Garrett isn’t involved in most of the decisions when it comes to free agency and the NFL Draft.
Jones has protected his former player by allowing him to stay at the helm this long. Now that Garrett is in the final year of his deal we will see how this season plays out. There is no doubt he is coaching for his job.
If Garrett comes up short of the playoffs again, I think Jones simply doesn’t renew his contract. That way he doesn’t embarrass the guy he anointed to run the team by firing him. Obviously, that would be admitting failure which is something Jones simply won’t do.
The more interesting scenario would be if the Cowboys made the playoffs. Then Jones would have a tougher decision on his hands.
Does he make the decision to keep Garrett on the heels of building off of a playoff berth? If so, for how long? Does Jones let Garrett walk after finally breaking into the playoffs?
Remember, this is the same Jerry Jones who fired Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer after they won Super Bowls.
The Cowboys haven’t reached the level of excellence under Garrett that Jones has been striving for. However, I think he sees the writing on the wall. Garrett has disappointed him, but he doesn’t have to fire him or burn that bridge. This is Garrett’s last shot, and if he doesn’t prove himself, Jerry will simply let him walk.