Why Jason Garrett Won't Be Blamed If Cowboys Fail
By Kenny Decker
Jerry Jones has already come out and said that Jason Garrett’s coaching spot is safe for next season. Whether he is speaking the full truth or simply giving Garrett some security to avoid the dreaded “coaching for your job” situation is up for debate. Regardless of the situation, Garrett won’t be blamed; he can’t be. Can you blame Garrett for nearly his whole starting defense battling injuries? Or for the defense trying to learn Monte Kiffin’s system on the fly (not to mention, failing miserably)? Or simply for Jones choosing to send Rob Ryan packing and bring in Kiffin? Garrett cannot be blamed for any of that, and he won’t be.
Yes, Garrett’s career record is mediocre (26-24 since taking over in 2010). Their recent success is certainly below Jones’ standards, but we can’t be fooled by this. The Cowboys, aka “America’s Team,” are given unfairly high expectations every season. They don’t have the talent that some other teams in their conference have. They have high-profile players, but a lot of them are simply high-profile players because they play in Dallas. DeMarco Murray is a second-string running back on a dozen or so teams, and that’s when he’s healthy. He has put up big games, but lots of running backs do that. After all, Bobby Rainey (who?) ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday. Of course, Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant are all stars for their position. But the offensive line doesn’t exactly bully anyone.
The secondary is a similar story to Murray. Morris Claiborne is more known because Jones traded way up to select him in the draft than he is for his on-field play. Brandon Carr got a contract from Dallas that many other teams wouldn’t have thought of giving him. Carr has played well and can be, at times, one of the best at his position, but again, he is higher profile because of the star on his helmet.
There’s no doubt that Dallas has talent. In fact, they have talent that could take them to the playoffs. But, if they don’t get there, Jones won’t be blaming Garrett. He won’t be blaming himself either, which, as general manager, he is partially to blame. But for Jones to come out now and say that Garrett will be back next year must mean that Jones recognizes the talent differential between his team and the rest of the league.
Last year, Jones was more worried. It looked as if the Redskins were the team of the future in NFC East with RG3 and Alfred Morris leading the way. So, he started to feel and enforce a sense of urgency in Dallas. But, clearly, that’s much less of a concern after watching the Redskins’ first ten games. Jones won’t be satisfied with missing the playoffs — not one bit, and changes will be made. But he is sticking with his head coach. Other coaches might be sent packing (heads up, Kiffin), and Jones most certainly will be making roster moves. But Garrett’s spot is safe. He’s coaching the talent he has to near a level that the talent should be expected to reach. He may not be reaching “America’s Team” expectations, but Jones may be realizing, given the circumstances of this season, that those aren’t realistic.
Jones says Garrett’s spot for next season is safe. He could change his mind any day though. After all, Jones has done crazier things.