Let me be clear on my opinion, I don't know if Garrett is the solution. No one can possibly know that after 1 year and a half. I'm not sure we should have ever hired Wade as HC, but realistically, who was available when Parcells decided to "retire" when he did? Payton would have been nice, but was already with NO and was never an option. It all boils down to options. I do like the approach the Garrett has taken. He has defined the problem as personnel, coaching, and culture.
In his first offseason last year, he began the restoration of the OLine. In fact there was a mass purging of ex-pro bowl players as you might remember. He knew there wasn't enough talent or leadership on the team and began to rebuild the roster. 2 drafts later, there is improvement. How much there is can be debated, but not that we are drafting better and addressing needs more timely. Everything is spelled out and documented. Every guy we draft was a team leader, high motor, with set physical measurements (in other words each position has minimum physical requirements...we don't look to draft undersized and slow players). There is a plan.
Last year he tried to improve positional coaching where he saw deficiencies. He brought in Mike Woicik, the first guy Jimmy Johnson said he would hire if he started coaching again. He brought in Ray Horton to replace Dave Campos (Horton got a better offer from the Cardinals...we eventually upgraded with Henderson this year), he replaced Ray Sherman with Jimmy Robinson, and he eventually moved Hudson Houck out for Bill Callahan this year. His hiring of Rob Ryan is starting to pay off in big dividends. Please note that last year was an abbreviated offseason. Every coach he targeted was in an attempt to upgrade the team where we had the greatest weaknesses. There is a plan here.
The culture. Have you noticed how the players are repeating the same thing Garrett is saying? The message sent to the team is consistent and clear. The practices are faster and with more purpose (go read articles from last year, this is well documented). Ex players/champions are routinely brought in to address the team...hell, Joe Gibbs spoke to the team last weak, not to mention the Navy Seals this summer. A smattering of things such as weekly awards, displays of past Cowboys history, and schedules set down to the smallest of details. Hell, they changed the clocks to digital and added more to keep everyone more on schedule. There is a plan here.
Fans are always looking for the stereotype. They want that stern tough guy image that you see in the movies. They want fire and brimstone. Guys getting chewed out left and right, because they think that public display of anger will instill better discipline in players. Well, welcome to the 21st century. The world is different now. Who are the most successful coaches in the league right now? I can only think of 2 that have that hard nosed persona...Coughlin and Tomlin, and Coughlin has had to softened up substantially from a few years ago, while Tomlin rarely ever calls out his players in public. Yet, we seem to want that in our coach. We seem to want an image, and care a little less about the substance. It doesn't seem to matter that the most successful coaches in the past decade are generally even keeled guys...Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy, Sean Payton, and Andy Reid.
Fans are impatient. They want Lombardi trophies now, and don't care that it might take some time to create a champion. They just remind each other that it's been 17 years since we won a Superbowl, yet none of our current coaches or players were on the team for all of those 17 years. In fact, there is only a handful of players from the Parcell's era of a few years ago. Things keep changing...it does for all teams. And to address the inevitable snide Jerry comment, Jerry has 3 Superbowl Rings, the same amount as Robert Kraft, and no, it wasn't all Jimmy Johnson, because Jimmy didn't win any championships when he left Dallas. We sucked for a long time because we were in cap hell, but that's another lengthy discussion. However, we are competitive now. Yes, competitive. Do you think any team we play thinks we are pushovers? Do you think the Giants feel we suck? Do you think the Falcons are looking past us? I'm not putting us within the elite teams of the league, just saying that we can match up well with just about any team in the league, and we present problems for them. This is fundamentally what competitive means.
There is a methodology to everything that we do. We don't shoot from the hip. Everything is planned. We practice situational football regularly, even though unfortunately, it has yet to yield results. But this is the way you fix mistakes, There is no magic bullet, It comes down to teaching and repetition. We have good experienced coaches. Our players are studious and close knit. Let me repeat that, we have a very tight/close locker room. Every new player has independently noted that without prompting. The seeds have been sewn. Will they yield a bounty? Who can say for sure. But this posting is directed to those fans that keep calling for Garrett's head. Those fans that call Garrett supporters clueless kool-aid drinkers. It took Mike McCarthy 5 years as head coach to win a championship, it took Coughlin over a decade, and it took the oft mentioned Cowher 14 years. If you can't give Garrett 5 years to see what he can do, what makes anyone think they can wait over a decade for Bill Cowher? Do we change coaches every 2 years if we don't like the results? If you are blinded from seeing any progress we've made in the past 18 months, nothing in this post will sway your opinion.