Mac Engel

Firing Jason Garrett is a Cowboys Nation fantasy

Cowboys Nation is losing its patience with Jason Garrett.
Cowboys Nation is losing its patience with Jason Garrett. Star-Telegram

In honor of the now fully, and sadly, retired Randy Galloway, the following question needs to be asked: Should Red J be fired?

Mr. Randy was fond of calling Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett “Red J”, whereas I prefer Coach Process. Whatever name you want to call Garrett, which these days likely includes a four-lettered adjective, and however much of a supporter of his regime you may be, dumping the Chosen One has legs.

Galloway hung up his sports six-shooter in favor of a 6-iron, but I asked if he would fire Garrett, to which he said, “No ... he had an awful coaching year but [injured Tony] Romo is a built-in excuse ... and always remember who the hell Jerry (Jones) would hire next ... it won’t be Jimmy [Johnson] or Big Bill [Parcells].”

Two weeks ago, I was not in favor of firing Garrett and with one game remaining in this awful season, I remain in “staunch” support of this man’s stay with the Cowboys for two reasons:

1. Whom would Jerry hire next?

2. Whom would Jerry hire next?

Tony Romo’s injury-plagued season could be viewed as a built-in excuse for coach Jason Garrett.

Unless Jerry can hire Bill Belichick, changing coaches at Valley Ranch is about changing from a brunette or a blond over the current redhead.

Garrett’s forte remains that his players play hard for him, which is a considerable skill. He is at that point where his teams must demonstrate something beyond effort or he runs the risk of losing that locker room. Eventually, the results will top all of his inspiring, motivating rhetoric.

How can you stay with the same personal trainer if you put in the work, but stay 10 pounds overweight?

Right now, dumping Garrett is pure fantasy: He has four years and $24 million remaining on the contract he signed earlier this year. Saints coach Sean Payton, a Jerry favorite, may be available, but the timing is wrong. Jerry has a lot of money, but he is not going to flush 24 million dollars.

But, speaking of Big Bill, is keeping Garrett “standing in the way of progress?” If Jerry thinks it’s time, it’s time, regardless of the cash payout. I fully acknowledge it is much easier, and considerably more fun, to spend someone else’s money.

Garrett’s players continue to play hard for him, but without the results he runs the risk of losing his locker room.

The man is 45-42 in 5 1/2 seasons as the head coach of the team with one winning record, and one playoff win. Firing this record is perfectly reasonable in the NFL. All of the good will he built last season is gone.

Romo’s busted clavicles aside, JG deserves all of the criticism launched at him locally and nationally. Romo’s injury buys Garrett’s way out of just about anything, but this team’s impending 4-12 record is a disgrace. From the way he sheepishly “handled” the Greg Hardy situation to his bumbling of the quarterback position, this has been Garrett’s worst hour.

Garrett’s bizarre commitment to quarterback Matt Cassel over Brandon Weeden is not necessarily a fireable offense, but it’s damnable.

Why Garrett thought handing the keys over to Cassel roughly one month after he arrived is an embarrassing evaluation of the two passers. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that the head coach, Cassel and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, Garrett’s handpicked choice, all share the same agent.

After Romo suffered his injuries, nothing Garrett could have done this season would have resulted in a playoff run, but given the state of this division, four wins is embarrassing. The NFC East is putrid, and the Cowboys will “win” last place by a comfortable margin.

Compounding matters is the team in Houston. Watching Weeden lead the Houston Texans to consecutive victories and a likely AFC South title is two parts impressive, three parts inspiring and 10,000-parts nauseating.

Garrett and Linehan both thought a dead-armed Cassel was a better option than Weeden. Weeden is nothing more than a backup, but the coaches scared him to death. Cassel scared himself to death after two or three starts. The Kellen Moore Show is destined for two acts before it ends.

Garrett’s commitment to quarterback Matt Cassel over Brandon Weeden is not necessarily a fireable offense, but it’s damnable.

One of the constants in the Garrett regime is that there has always been a plausible explanation for the mediocrity, ranging from inferior rosters to injuries. Review the finale of Garrett’s memorable three consecutive 8-8 seasons and there was a reasonable explanation why the team missed the playoffs in each of those years.

This season is the first full year under Garrett where the team was done by Dec. 1. The last month has left an awful taste in everybody’s mouth, which prompts the Fire the Coach discussion.

Jerry and Crew will not fire the coach because of the money, and right now it does not “get in the way of progress.” There is no Belichick coming, and hiring Payton right now would be too expensive to make happen.

Firing Garrett would only be a salve to the rising anger in Cowboys Nation, but for the time being just stick with the redhead.

Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.

Mac Engel: 817-390-7697, @macengelprof

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