Should Jason Garrett Be On the Hot Seat?

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Jason Garrett began his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins  in 2005 under Nick Saban.  Despite his lack of experience, Jerry Jones hired him as the Cowboys offensive coordinator in 2007.

Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett’s salary for the 2008 season was nearly $3 million; the highest salary for an assistant coach in the NFL at the time, despite his lack of experience.

He was promoted to the interim head coach position following a 1-7 start (in the absence of Tony Romo) by head coach Wade Phillips on November 8, 2010. Many believed he was tanking the offense to secure his new job. Ironically, immediately following the firing of Phillips, the offense began to have success and the Cowboys finished the season 6-10.

Despite questions about his play calling, (constantly abandoning the run) and not having any head coaching experience at any level, on January 6, 2011, Garrett was named the official Cowboys head coach; the 8th in Cowboys history and Jerry Jones allowed him to lead a double role as the head coach and the play caller for the offense.

scott linehan and jason garrett
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Later Jones would remove him from the play calling duties and promote Bill Callahan to the position. That was a short lived decision and when Callahan took a job as the offensive line coach in Washington, Jones Hired Scott Linehan as the new offensive coordinator. With the addition of Scott Linehan, the Cowboys had their best season running the ball since EmmItt Smith departed and DeMarco Murray emerged as the NFL’s leading rusher. Jason Garrett had three straight 8-8 seasons prior to Linehan committing to the run.

With Scott Linehan calling the plays, the Cowboys went 12-4 and won the NFC East for the first time under Jason Garrett as the head coach. This is where it get’s twisted: for what was declared as salary cap reasons, Jerry Jones let DeMarco Murray walk off to the Eagles.

He had said in a press conference that he planned ahead to let Murray walk by drafting Joseph Randle. Many of us thought he should draft a RB in 2015 as an insurance policy, but Jones opted to sign the often inured Darren McFadden, Duke Johnson as an undrafted free agent and later signed Christine Michael from the Seahawks. The question now becomes:

Who is in charge of the personnel decisions?

We know when it comes to who get’s signed by the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones has the final say. But, who decides which players start and which players are inactive on game day? Technically that is the head coaches job. The front office brings in the players and it is Jason Garrett’s responsibility to not only coach up those players, but evaluate them and make sure the best players play on Sunday.

Jason Garrett repeatedly says in his press conferences that they are always trying to create competition at all positions. If that is the case, then why do we have to wait until a player get’s injured to find out there was a better option at the position available? Many of us said all along that Joseph Randle was not the answer at RB, yet Garrett had him start every game which resulted in the offensive line getting the blame. It wasn’t until he got injured that the veteran Darren McFadden got his opportunity and proved he was the better of the two players and the Cowboys once again had that dominant ground attack. I question Garrett’s player evaluation skills.

brandon weedenI wrote many times that Brandon Weeden wasn’t the answer at QB, yet Jason Garrett repeatedly talked him up. Scott Linehan has been coaching since 1987 and worked his way up the ranks from coaching high school to the NFL where he has been since 2002. Garrett had minimal experience as a QBs coach when Jerry penciled him in as the OC and then promoted him to HC. It’s no wonder the Cowboys best season under his tenure occurred with the additions of the veterans Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli.

Scott Linehan had coached Kellen Moore for two years in Detroit and influenced the Cowboys to sign him. Obviously he didn’t trust Brandon Weeden’s ability to back up Tony Romo. However, when Romo got injured, they went out and signed Matt Cassel. It wasn’t until Weeden lost three straight games that they decided to admit their short comings, but rather than allow the coach with 28 years of experience to decide who was going to run his offense, against his will, they started Matt Cassel and the results were horrendous.

Again I question Jason Garret’s personnel decisions. Obviously, unless Weeden and Cassel both get injured, Much like with Darren McFadden, we will never see Kellen Moore take a snap because Garrett chose to make him inactive and keep Brandon Weeden as the backup, despite his inability to perform the task. Progress stopping at it’s finest.

How long will it take for Jason Garrett to admit he was wrong about Cassel?

If Scott Linehan is calling the plays on offense and Rod Marinelli is running the defense: what exactly is Jason Garrett doing? I am yet to see him take any responsibility for the 2-4 record. I am yet to see him reprimanding players on the sidelines. A guy makes a bad play, comes to the sidelines and Garrett just stands there. I never see him trying to motivate players. It’s Dez Bryant and Greg Hardy doing what the coach is supposed to be doing.

Where is the accountability?

When I watch the press conferences of the coaches from other losing teams, they are manning up and taking responsibility. Anyone can see that both of the coordinators are doing a great job based on what they have to work with. Any short comings they had were a result of the personnel they had to work with on Sunday.

rod marinelliRod Marinelli’s defense did a fantastic job despite missing key starters early in the season, but Garrett’s choices for the starters on offense crippled Scott Linehan and resulted in Marinelli’s defense being worn out in the second half of games. We reported that Weeden wasn’t the answer. We reported that Randle wasn’t the answer, and we reported that Cassel wasn’t the answer. When is enough enough?

Jimmy Johnson once said he believes one of the reasons the Cowboys have underachieved under Jason Garrett is because there’s a “country club” culture at Valley Ranch that doesn’t hold players accountable for poor play.

“The No. 1 motivator (in the NFL) is fear,” Johnson said. “Fear of maybe letting down your teammates or being embarrassed or chastised or fear of losing your job. Where is the fear in Dallas? There is no fear in Dallas. It’s a country club where everybody is buddies.”

Tom-Landry-Engineer1Tom Landry once said that he can’t allow himself to get close to his players emotionally because it hinders his objectivity. Where is Garrett’s objectivity? Where is the accountability for the players? Every time a player has a bad game, Garrett stands in front of the cameras and repeats the same speech. He did a lot of good things out there. we were playing against a really good football team (even if they had losing record), we will take a look at the tape and get better etc. The Cowboys primary excuse for losing is always the same: “they are a really good football team.” Hello, it’s the NFL lol. A league of professionals.

I want to hear Jason Garrett say: I need to do a better job as the head coach. It’s my responsibility to get these guys ready to play on Sunday. It’s my responsibility to make sure the best players play on Sunday. It’s my responsibility to make the necessary mid game adjustments. It’s my responsibility to bench a Joseph Randle and give someone else a chance. I don’t know about you, but I am sick of hearing him say, “they are a really good football team we will watch the tape and get better.” Jimmy was right: there is no accountability for the players or the head coach.

The Cowboys have lost four games in a row and are in last place in the NFC East with a 2-4 record, The losses were primarily the result of Jason Garrett’s failure to hold players accountable for poor play and say next man up; and/or poor player evaluation skills. I am tired of the excuses and want to see the country club culture in Dallas disappear. I want to see Jason Garrett listen to a veteran coach like Scott Linehan and allow him to decide who runs his offense or get’s to be his RB. After all, Jason Garrett is still a coach who is learning on the job. The Steelers are 4-2 with a 3rd string QB, I think it’s time to see ours. Personally, I think Jason Garrett should be on the hot seat.

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  • Californy

    wow, Nice article, You pretty much said everything that I hold strong too.  JJ will never have his HC as long as he has that door to come in here and meddle any time he wants to.  JJ has many hats, Owner, GM and sideline coach

  • Californy

    A Good head coach should never befriend the player.   He must never cross that line which Jimmy never crossed or even Landry.  Landry even allowed this franchise greatest QB to walk off in the sunset because the HC didnt want to give up the play calling to a qb who won 75% of the games he ever played it.  At the end it was the respect and not the friendship that held Landry and Staubach as two of the greatest people that ever wore a Cowboys star

  • Californy

    I cant help but notice how well The Jets HC is doing, a coach that JJ never truly gave him the opportunity.  It no surprise a coach Like Wade Phillips and Todd Bowls had to leave to prosper in their career elsewhere.  Sometimes you need to give these coach the space and allow them to chose their type of player to succeed.

  • Californy

    Who know what JG type of player really is, when it JJ making the choices for him.  The way I look at JG, he is nothing more than the team manager.

  • I have to agree. Tom brady is arguably the best QB of all time, if he throws a pick the coach is all up in his face. If a player commits a foolish penalty he get’s his ass chewed on the sidelines by most coaches. I never see Red doing anyting but standing on the sidelines with that impish grin on his face. The title is coach, but I never see him coaching anyone on the sidelines during games. At the end of the day, the teams performance reflects the coaching and I don’t see any discipline. There are too many foolish penalties at bad times and the players never get scolded on the sidelines for it.

  • Californy

    Im Sure Brady will get into his WR face if they dont run the pattern right.  I like Brady play, because he play the game with a chip on his shoulder. Randy Moss played this way too early in his career.  Tom is always looking forward, I doubt he has the time to dwell in the past. Tom is always chasing his next conquest

  • Californy Romo is the same way. I believe Kellen Moore is that way too.

  • Californy

    Kellen Moore spread the ball around in Boise, He really had a lot of favorite receivers.  All these qb you mention are the same.  What I like about Kellen, he always seem to find new way to move the ball down field when one aspect of the offense was not jelling.  I am excited for the day when The Cowboys have no choice to put Kellen Moore in.  Once he get established, he wont be coming out anymore.

  • Californy Let’s hope they keep him long enough for that to happen.

  • gcarr1213

    Californy Not a coincidence, when he had the Cardinals defense being monstrous, and led them to the playoffs. And he inherited even better players with the Jets on D. Jets are just missing QB and O line.

  • Californy

    gcarr1213Jet played a good game, The Jets look pretty good in year one of Todd Bowls, They still are missing the qb to lead them to the promise land.

  • Californy

    gcarr1213Jet played a good game, The Jets look pretty good in year one of Todd Bowls, They still are missing the qb to lead them to the promise land.

  • Balou71

    Another great article Cas. I am trying to put the finishing touches on my WAYYYYYY overdue article. I am hoping they allow Kellen Moore more of an opportunity than they gave Alex Tanney! They let him slip right through their fingers. I believe this is turning into the Barry Switzer version of the Cowboys. Remember after Jimmy Johnson let, he let them run loose. That caused a LOT of problems in Valley Ranch. Jason have to put on his Big Boy underwear and tell Jerry to stay out of his way while he listen to his coaching staff more on player evaluations. This team seems to always have hidden talent but we never see it until it is too late.

  • Balou71

    Another great article Cas. I am trying to put the finishing touches on my WAYYYYYY overdue article. I am hoping they allow Kellen Moore more of an opportunity than they gave Alex Tanney! They let him slip right through their fingers. I believe this is turning into the Barry Switzer version of the Cowboys. Remember after Jimmy Johnson let, he let them run loose. That caused a LOT of problems in Valley Ranch. Jason have to put on his Big Boy underwear and tell Jerry to stay out of his way while he listen to his coaching staff more on player evaluations. This team seems to always have hidden talent but we never see it until it is too late.

  • Balou71

    Oh I forgot, I was at the forefront when Wade lost his job. As soon as Garrett signed that contract, I told many people Wade’s days were numbered because Jerry was NOT going to pay an assistant coach head coach money for long. The Texans are now realizing what we Cowboys fan saw a long time ago. They are now seeing the value of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator. Imagine Wade in Dallas with an OC he could trust? We had three good if not GREAT coaches run off by the Jerry Jones machine (Jimmy, Bill, and Wade). When will enough be enough?!?

  • Balou71 I always said Wade got set up to fail. He wanted to hire Dan Reeves as his OC, but had no say in who his staff would be. He went to Hou and had a top 5 D, #1 for a while there and now he has the #1 D in Denver. Don’t forget Sean Payton is on that list of coaches who left. So is Bowles.

  • Balou71 Thanks Kevin and I can’t wait to see the new story. This team still doesn’t have a solid safety and Andrew Sendejo is in beast mode in Minny. They cut him before he got a fair chance to compete. The only game they lost since week one, was the game he missed cuz his own teams CB ran in to him and injured his knee. He is the heart and soul of that defense. Usually when I stand on the roof for a player like I am Moore, they end up like Sendejo.

  • Californy Thank You Californy

  • gcarr1213 Californy The Jets have been missing a QB for years lol

  • Californy Gruden said you use all 5 eligibles dont ya, you don’t discriminate against anyone to Moore on his QB camp.

  • BigDIndiana

    CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 Californy  since Joe Namath