Is Jason Garrett really safe? Don’t bet on it
11/23/2013 4:55 PM
11/12/2014 3:24 PM
“Yes,” Jerry Jones told us last week.
Yes, Jason Garrett will be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 2014, so stop the speculation on his job-security situation.
Honestly, I’d like to believe that from Jerry, because of a belief that Garrett is not the problem, and because of proven fact that Jerry is the problem, except when the owner looks in the mirror each morning he sees the general manager, and gawd help us, he always likes what he sees.
As Jerry also told us last week, he thinks the general manager is currently doing his best football work in years. And remember, all Jerry has to do is convince one person he’s right on that statement. That one person is himself.
But by now, after a quarter century of his yakety-yak insanity, when Mr. Jones goes verbally sideways, fish-tails off the road, and ends up with his tongue in a ditch, none of us consider it breaking news.
That’s just Jerry talking to Jerry.
And to quote Jerry his own self from a year ago, “just because I said it doesn’t make it true.”
Not that we needed this helpful advice, but let’s all appreciate Mr. Jones for coming clean about his ongoing football proclamations.
At times, his active mouth will actually match his actions, but only the extremely naive would chew and swallow the juicy tidbits Jerry constantly throws out for public consumption.
So with the Dallas Cowboys coming off a bye, and coming off that total trashing down in New Orleans two weeks ago, the club’s future — both the next month and a half, and then beyond — is now facing the jeopardy point as the season continues Sunday on the road against the New York Giants.
And that jeopardy point, without doubt, includes Garrett’s job being on the line.
In other words, Jerry’s “yes” answer is total crap. And he knows it.
The Cowboys have a 5-5 record with six games remaining.
They could lose all six.
Based on the current state of the defense, and even more importantly, the current state of the offense, they WILL lose all six. Unless change happens, that will happen.
But what if they lost “only” four of six, and the record ends up 7-9? Jerry will make a coaching move.
Obviously, the trip into the Meadowlands on Sunday is a tedious starting point, and a tossup game, even by the Vegas point spread. (NY favored by 2 1/2.)
But Oakland comes to Arlington in four days, and don’t look now, but the Raiders, at 4-6, have been competitive in three of their last four games, winning two of them.
After that it’s a Monday night game in Chicago, with the Bears figuring to have the starting QB back, and then Green Bay here with Aaron Rodgers expected to be back, and then a slipping Washington, except it’s on the road, and finally, the currently surging Eagles coming to Arlington.
Could the Cowboys lose all six? Yes.
At the bare minimum, Garrett has to have three wins to keep his job.
How many wins will happen depends on the Cowboys’ offense. There is nothing that can be done to fix the defense. Injuries are not an excuse, but it’s obviously an injury-wrecked defense, combined with Monte Kiffin being a hiring mistake.
I thought Rob Ryan was awful in his tenure here as defensive coordinator. But the hiring of Kiffin to replace him seemed like a reach, although football voices I respect totally backed the Kiffin move.
Offensively, however, the Cowboys have sunk into a funk of mysterious incompetence.
No, it’s not just Tony Romo, although Romo is certainly part of the funk.
But here’s where Garrett screwed himself:
He had the last two weeks to totally shake up the offense, starting with the removal of Bill Callahan as the play-caller. He could have taken back the duties, or given it to trusted quarterback coach Wade Wilson.
Callahan, however, had to go.
Garrett did nothing. Minor adjustments are being talked about for Sunday (look for Garrett and not Wilson to take the play call from Callahan, and then relay the play to Romo, with Wilson moving to the press box with Callahan in an attempt to help Callahan on pass route calls), and I guess we’ll see how all that works out.
But with his job on the line, Garrett needed to go bold last week. No way he’s believing Jerry’s “yes” answer because Jason has been here too long to believe Jerry on that.
When Garrett called plays, no, it was not a roaring offensive machine. But it was better than what we’ve seen the last five games.
Did Jason have the power to oust Callahan? Asked that question after the Saints’ loss, he answered, “Absolutely.”
That’s another answer I’d like to believe, but I don’t.
There’s also a flip-side theory that says Garrett didn’t want to remove Callahan because Callahan as play-caller was Jerry’s move, therefore giving Garrett an excuse from a job-security standpoint.
Some of that is valid, except it’s not the way Jerry operates. If the next six games don’t go well, Mr. Jones will not blame himself. Faced with “selling” the 2014 season to an exhausted fan base, the blame will go elsewhere, and Garrett is the obvious place to start.
As Jerry has told us in the past, the Cowboys would never change to a 4-3 defense from the long-standing 3-4, Wade Phillips would not be fired, Terrell Owens would not be released, and the list goes on endlessly.
The best thing Garrett could have done, and this comes from a guy who pushed for him to become a walk-around head coach, was to make an offensive power grab after the Saints game.
At least, if his “absolutely” answer was valid.
Instead, however, of bold offensive moves happening around the bye week, all we got was yakety-yak insanity from Mr. Jones.
And just because he said it doesn’t make it true, right, Jerry?
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