Mac Engel

The last thing Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should do is fire coach Jason Garrett

Much like the humidity in our air, you can reach out and touch the disgust pointed at Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.

Not since the Dallas Cowboys lost in the NFC Divisional Round of the 2007 playoffs against the New York Giants has the sports hate felt as tangible in these here parts as they do right now.

That includes the 2011 World Series; when the Texas Rangers blew Game 6 in St. Louis, that was more of a can’t-get-out-of-bed sadness than break-the-TV anger. The storm front that moved in from the East coast on Sunday evening has not only not dissipated but strengthened.

There will be plenty of drinking, but there will be no Hurricane Party on Sunday night when the Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles in what will be a 100-yard guillotine platform to see if Jerry Jones will walk out wearing a black hood wielding a pink slip.

The last act Jerry needs to do right now is to fire Jason Garrett.

(Now is time for you to throw something against the wall before proceeding with this latest Pulitzer Prize-losing column).

Jerry may have no choice but not to re-sign Garrett after the season is over, but to fire him now would be one of the worst decisions he’s made as owner of the Dallas Cowboys. And he has made a lot of bad decisions as owner of the Dallas Cowboys.

There is no immediate replacement who is any better, and firing a coach after six games in an NFL season is a give up move when the Cowboys are too good to quit on this season.

“He’s evolved into what I think is a top coach,” Jerry said on his weekly interview on 105.3 The Fan this morning. “He would be very sought after if he was on the open market.”

That’s true; Garrett would be very sought after to perform at kids’ birthday parties, bar mitzah’s and quinceañera.

“If I totally disagreed with Garrett’s philosophy he wouldn’t be the head coach,” Jerry said.

There are many examples of a team improving in the middle of a year after a coach is fired in the NHL, NBA and MLB.

There are virtually no examples of a team dramatically improving in the middle of a year after a coach is fired in the NFL.

Garrett is one of the few to ever have done it; when Jerry fired Uncle Wade Phillips during the 2010 season, the team was 1-7. Under Garrett that year, the team was 5-3.

Jerry’s marriage to Garrett defies some of his previous behaviors as the team’s owner, but we are in Week 7 of the NFL season. Now is not the time to end this relationship.

You end this relationship midseason only if the coach has lost the locker room, and/or coaching staff. There are no signs of either having happened.

To his eternal credit, Garrett has never lost the room. Guys play for him.

A 3-3 record is not going to result in anything other than some frustrations that a win over the Philadelphia Eagles cannot cure.

Cowboys fans don’t want to hear this, but Jason Garrett is a pretty good NFL coach. He has an 80-62 record, which is pretty good.

He’s not the worst. He’s not even in the middle.

Jason Garrett is above average.

What he has never done is string consecutive 10-win seasons, or playoff appearances in back-to-back years.

This is why the Cowboys did not extend Garrett and are letting him coach on the final year of a contract. To see if he not only can break those streaks, but do something he’s never done before.

Jerry will believe in his Jason right up until the time that he doesn’t, and we are not close to that point.

There is time left to achieve everything Jerry believes will happen this year.

Firing Jason Garrett during the season would be a concession that it’s not going to happen this year.

Firing Jason Garrett would be giving up on the season, and the Cowboys have no reason to do such a thing.

Jerry Jones has made a lot of dumb moves in his tenure, and firing Garrett right now would be among the dumbest he’s ever made.

Now, after the season ....

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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