Maddeningly Consistent Cowboys Making It Easy For Jerry To Pull Plug On Garrett At Season’s End
Heartless are the ethics that propel the modern-day football caravan at Valley Ranch. Empowered by the whimsical nature of an omnipotent general manager, these pliable sets of pigskin principles have dragged the Dallas Cowboys into the muck of postseason irrelevance time and again over the last two decades. Steeped in untimely shifts in strategy, not to mention mindless thoughts, they weave an imposing story of a hopeless future for all constituents who come under its iron thumb. Dallas is a dead-end job.
As of right now, Jason is the prime constituent. Jerry is the mechanical thumb. At 4-11, in what was supposed to be something of a Super season, there doesn’t have to be a firing to follow Sunday’s game versus Washington. But, with Jerry Jones around, and with the losses piling on during the season’s final stages, the odds are certainly increasing that there will be one.
Even the national media – a sector which emphatically denied any such possibility over the last two months – is now acknowledging that Jason, lo and behold, could be on the hot seat. That’s the power of a four-win season. That’s the power of Jerry.
But it also stands to reason that Jason Garrett should receive his share of the credit for this mess. As likable as he may be, Garrett has run out of excuses that he can lay at the owner’s feet for 2015. Outside of one wacky Monday night in Landover, the Cowboys staff has proven hopelessly incompetent in constructing a game-plan that their backup quarterback can execute. Eleven games. Three different quarterbacks. Eleven losses. Four games without a touchdown.
Inexcusable, even if your boss is the biggest clown in the industry.
The Cowboys are on the verge of their worst season since 1989 because they are averaging 15 points per contest with Tony Romo on the sideline. Even with three Pro Bowl offensive linemen, Jason Witten running down the middle of the field, and the No. 3 rusher in the NFL over the last two months, the Cowboys offense has struggled to produce in the passing game. Dallas quarterbacks have failed to reach the 200-yard passing mark in six of eleven games without Romo. The Cowboys are 1-5 in those games.
As a note of comparison, Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater has failed to pass for 200 yards in eight games this season. The Vikings are 7-1 in those games, and headed for the playoffs.
Garrett can’t plead the cause for a core group of youthful players who suffered through an up-and-down season. No, the Cowboys of 2015 have been maddeningly consistent, a rare specimen of flat-line impulses and unquestioned effort. Garrett’s team has played hard every week. They also seem to lose in a familiar manner every week.
Garrett was said to be a leading influence in last year’s defensive turnaround in Dallas when he spent extra time during the week preparing the unit for situational challenges. Thirty-one turnovers later, the Cowboys were NFC East champions. The head coach has had no answers this season for why his defense can’t make a stop in the fourth quarter of a close game.
New Orleans and Philadelphia beat Dallas earlier this season by marching the length of the field at the beginning of overtime. Tampa Bay, Seattle, and the New York Jets all used late-game scoring drives as knockout blows in close games. On Sunday in Buffalo that theme continued, as the Bills marched 92 yards to turn a 9-6 nail-biter into a 16-6 lockdown.
For the team to lose in the same heartless fashion each week is the worst thing that could have happened to Garrett. It suggests to a small-minded owner like Jerry that the head coach isn’t capable of helping his team improve. Brandon Weeden’s victory in a Houston uniform against Tennessee suggests Garrett, as an offensive mind, is merely incompetent.
Jerry could chalk up his team’s persistent struggles as simply a by-product of a wounded team. Or he could perceive them to be the mortal wound in Garrett’s head coaching armor.
A loss Sunday against the Redskins in Arlington will give Garrett a .500 record since officially accepting the head-coaching position in January 2011. It will also mark the Cowboys’ seventh consecutive home defeat.
As we have learned over the years, Jerry Jones doesn’t need a legitimate reason to fire a head coach. But it must be admitted that Jason Garrett and his team are supplying him with numerous reasons to do just that with the conclusion of this miserably long football marathon.