Should Jason Garrett be Cowboys coach in 2011?
By: Nathan Rush | 11/18/10, 10:32 AM EST
Should Jason Garrett be the Cowboys' coach in 2011?
There is no doubt that Jason Garrett has earned the privilege — or burden, depending on how you look at it — of being the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 2011.
The son of a coach, Garrett played quarterback at Princeton, where he was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 1988. Then, he played pro ball from 1989-2004, highlighted by his 1993-99 stint in Dallas — where he backed up Troy Aikman and won Super Bowls XXVIII and XXX.
After playing under the likes of Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and Jon Gruden, Garrett immediately graduated to the coaching ranks. Following two seasons with the Dolphins as Nick Saban’s quarterbacks coach (2005-06), Garrett came back to the Cowboys as Wade Phillip’s offensive coordinator (2007) and assistant head coach (2008-10) before ultimately taking over after Week 9 this season.
Now Garrett is in the crosshairs as the interim coach of “America’s Team” — which is closer to the No. 1 overall pick than their preseason goal of hosting Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. Garrett is charged with changing the undisciplined culture of a team that got off to a 1–7 start under Phillips. But no matter how many wins Garrett is able to coax from the new-look Boys, the 44-year-old should return next season.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones makes the final decision. And Jones’ track record — namely his firing of Tom Landry and Johnson — indicates he is power hungry above all else. Why would Bill Cowher, Gruden or any other proven winner want to deal with that? And why would Jones want his authority questioned?
For better or worse, Garrett is the guy in Dallas. He has a strong football resume, a history with the franchise and will not threaten Jones’ status as the Cowboys’ sheriff.
– Nathan Rush
By all means, to save the Dallas Cowboys, let’s turn to the guy who helped ruin the franchise to begin with. While we’re at it, why don’t we enlist Don King to clean up boxing? Or make Barry Bonds the MLB anti-doping czar?
Jason Garrett is part of the problem in Dallas. Let’s look at the statistical evidence for such an assertion. Garrett was handed the keys to the Cowboy offense in 2007. That season, to his credit, he took what had been the NFL’s fifth-best offense (360.5 ypg in 2006) and made it the NFL’s third-best offense (365.7 ypg). Again, to his credit, Garrett parlayed those extra five yards per game into a $3 million contract for 2008, making him the highest-paid assistant coach in the NFL.
How did he reward the faith that Jerry Jones placed in him, not to mention the money that Jones transferred into his bank account? By overseeing the NFL’s 13th-best offense in 2008 (344.5 ypg).
Garrett continued his sleight of hand by maneuvering past the decline into head-coaching interest from such franchises as the Ravens, Falcons, Rams, Lions and Broncos. Instead, though, Garrett had his sights set on the Cowboys job and remained in Big D.
Another year at the helm of the Cowboys offense did result in the league’s second-best offense (399.4 ypg), but Garrett’s charges had an alarming inability to turn those yards into points; the Cowboys ranked 14th in the NFL in 2009 with 22.6 points per game, down from 28.4 in Garrett’s first year as coordinator.
And that brings us to 2010. Garrett’s offense has produced an alarming number of turnovers and red zone failures, again failing time and again to turn yards into all-important points. Clearly, the Cowboys reached their offense zenith in Garrett’s first year and have been vainly struggling to recapture that formula since.
Wade Phillips wasn’t the answer in Dallas. Neither is his right-hand man.
– Rob Doster
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