Well that stung. I had just gotten comfortable with the notion that the Jason Garrett-led Cowboys were focused and tenacious, even if still not overly talented. Now I don't know what to think, I mean, a missed extra point is the very definition of lack of focus, isn't it? Random ponderings on the consequences of this loss begin......................now.
How Safe is Jason Garrett now?
This time last week, I was secure in my opinion that Garrett was the man for the job next year. He certainly seems to bring discipline and focus to the team (although I still think accountability is a problem, ala Jenkins and Spencer not even losing many snaps, let alone starting jobs). He is smart and professional, and brings an air of legitimacy to Valley Ranch that just wasn't there with Phillips. After the Cardinals game, however, you have to wonder. Was the focus and discipline a temporary effect of a new coaching style? Did the players settle back into their old ways once it felt like the heat was off? If so, and those two things are not going to be a trademark of Garrett's tenure, what else does he bring to the table? It is worth pointing out that he has a chance at going 4-4 as coach this year. There are two sides to that coin, first it extrapolates to an 8-8 season, which is nothing to be happy about, but also, Wade went 1-7 with the same players. Of course, that was just good enough to not get a chance at 1-8. Personally, I'd still like to see what he can do with a full offseason, especially because my gut tells me the other road leads to Jon Gruden, who doesn't impress me. I do now feel like we should have a legitimate interview process, instead of simply going through the formalities needed to get Garrett in.
Let's assume Garrett gets the job. Who would be his coordinators? Dom Capers comes readily to mind, as he was linked to Garrett in the past. I have seen articles stating he is in his final year of his contract in Green Bay (although I can't seem to find them now, so take that for what you will), so if he really wants to work with Jason, he could. I can't imagine him wanting to leave a group of players that he turned around so quickly, however. Two coaching staffs pique my curiosity. Miami and San Diego. Miami may potentially fire Tony Sparano, which would not only make him a prime OC candidate, but would open up Mike Nolan, an excellent DC. Miami's been grabbing up our castoff players and starting them for years now, why not give them a taste of their own medicine with two of their coaches? San Diego is probably less likely to blow up their coaching staff due to a bad case of the injury bug, but they did fall well short of expectations. They would present another potential "two-fer", with Norv Turner and Ron Rivera being excellent offensive and defensive minds, respectively.
Just how big a job will this be?
It really is difficult to quantify. We were 11-5 last year and seemed to be pointing up, before some major needs were ignored in the offseason. Sure, you can say we could meet those needs THIS offseason and be back on track, but to do so, we would seemingly have to ignore problems that were new to this season ( Seems we could add CB, WR, DE and OLB to the glaring RG, RT, and S needs that carried over). To solve all these problems would require 7 new starters. At best, you could hope for 4 in the draft ( I only say 4 because you could potentially draft a late round kicker that would start right away), and I can't see us getting 3 or 4 starting caliber free agents, it would just be too much money to give out with the uncertain labor situation. Something gets ignored. How long until we can catch up? By next year, we may need another ILB, C, TE (not starter), LG, and NT. A truly uphill battle, especially with a GM who you would generously describe as whiffing as much as he hits.
Where will our draft position be?
I've seen it written that with that loss, we could be as high as 4th. That would put us in great position to solve our DE or CB problem, as Peterson, Prince, or Fairley would surely be there. That also puts us in great position in the next few rounds to scoop up any falling talent. Next week's games will have huge implications on our offseason.
That's all I have for now.............................My brain hurts.