Cas and I started the â€œHe Said-She Saidâ€ series last year with the intent to show the readers two points of view. It has evolved in to a friendly competition to prove the other one wrong. WhenÂ I suggested this topic and told Cas that IÂ believe the Cowboys needs to keep faith in Jason Garrett’s process, Cas jumped at the chance to tell you all why she disagrees.
In herÂ She SaidÂ article from earlier this week, Cas discussed THE PROCESSÂ that has been preached by Jason Garrett since he was named the head coach. Where we disagree is in our view of the results. While my esteemed partner sees numbers, she is ignoring the truth of how those numbers were reached.
Here is a more realistic view of the past 5 season’s results.Â A successful end to the season in 2010 where Jason Garrett took a team that had obviously quit on Wade Phillips and got them to give him theirÂ maximum effort even without Tony Romo on the field. That was followed by three 8-8 seasons in which the team far out performed it’s level of talent (remember how bad the defense was in 2013) and never played a meaningless game in spite of a ridiculously dysfunctional coaching situation. Once the coaching situation was settled, JG coached the team to aÂ 12-4 season and a successful playoff run.
The Cowboys are currently sitting on a 3-8 record and no reasonable person would suggest that this season is anything but a huge disappointment. I recognize that we live in a “140 character” world and fans are nothing if notÂ impatient. I expect this from the uneducated masses but I am surprised that my good friend Cas has fallen prey to the mass hysteria.
Think for a minute about the model franchises that have won championships and competed consistently over the past 20 years. The Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots all have the coaching and front office stability to develop an organizational philosophy and putÂ the proper players in place to perform well in their systems. Other than the Patriots, each of these teams has gone through a period (or three) of disappointing performance where general fans questioned the direction of the franchise and the leadership of the coaching staff. In fact if you listen after ANY team loses you will hear complaints of poor time management or coaching mistakes.
If you look closely at why this year has been a failure, it is not because Jason Garrett’s process doesn’t work. Peel back the onion and quite the opposite is actuallyÂ true. Garrett’s process has kept the team competitive from game to game without its franchise QB. There are no unbiased observers that believe a healthy Cowboys team would be any less than 3 games up on the rest of the putrid NFC East with Tony Romo playing the full season. That being said, while Garrett has not been blameless, the real failures of this year’s team to win without Romo are failures of personnel. The gambles on personnel were ones that history show us are areas where the front office overruled the coach.
In a salary cap world, it is important that each team have a solid strategy on where to allocate its dollars. This season, the front office and the head coach disagreed on where those dollars should go. DeMarco Murray was obviously one of Jason Garrett’s favorites and the coachÂ was vocal about keeping Murray for offensive continuity. We all know how that went. Garrett also has a history of wanting to invest heavily in having a solid backup QB. John Kitna and Kyle Orton are the best examples of Garrett’s historical choices for a backup and 2010 vs 2015 shows the difference between a Kitna and a Brandon Weeden. I remember some of the same voices shouting about cheap backups saying that the team was overpaying to have quality backups like Kitna or Orton for the past few years. How much would you be willing to pay now?I don’t necessarily disagree with the thinking behind the decisions but it is clear now that they did not work out.
At both RB and backup QB, the front office gambled on lesser choices and those gambles failed this time. If we apply the same overreaction that Garrett is facing to the front office, it would make us say that Will McClay is inept and ignore all of the team’s personnel wins over the past 4 years.
No, the truth is that the 2015 Cowboys have seen a confluence of failed gambles and injuries conspire to derail a season that began with Super Bowl aspirations. While THE PROCESS may not be sexy or exciting, it has been very effective over the past five years in doing exactly what a coach is supposed to do…maximizing his talent on the field.
For every game fans point at to show Garrett’s faults as a coach, I can give them an example of his ability to lead and inspire his teamÂ to overcome adversity from his first game as interim head coach against the Giants to Bengals game after the Jerry Brown tragedy.
JasonÂ Garrett isÂ definitely not perfectÂ butÂ followingÂ his process is the Cowboys best chance for success this season and into the future.