I am extremely disappointed by how the season has turned out so far. The team has performed very poorly in areas I was convinced Garrett would improve - errors, penalties, basic execution.
However, this team has done this sort of stuff since the Parcell days, when even Big Bill quit in frustration. It got worse under Wade and as such we cannot expect JG to turn the whole culture and headspace around in 2 seasons - much less 0.5 + 1 +0.5, with a holdout and truncated pre-season in the middle of it all.
So what are the facts, how has Jason G performed vs a relevant peer group of coaches?:
JG: 16 - 16 so far....
Coach 1: 12 - 30 over first 3 years, before going 11-3 and to playoffs
Coach 2: 16 - 16 then 22 -10 and 2 playoff appearances
Coach 3: went 10 - 6 in yr 1 before going 15- 17 on route to 13-3 and a SB win in yr 4.
Coach 4: went 4 - 20 in first 2 years, then 21-43-2 over next 4, before 10 wins and playoffs in yr 7.
Coach 5: 8 - 15, then 3 consecutive 8-8 seasons before a playoff appearance
So how is your football knowledge, do you know who these 5 coaches are? All are considered successful, some are names mediots and fans have called for to replace Garrett. [put the names at the very bottom of the post]
1 and 4 both are coaching legends but both would almost certainly have been replaced in today's day and age. Perhaps they could have gone the way of Little Bill, where a failed stint in Cleveland laid the groundwork for a legendary stint in New England - one which perhaps could have benefited Cleveland if they had had the patience....
The other 3 are all names that have been mooted as replacements for Garrett at various points. Fisher would clearly have not survived in Dallas with that record for that long. Gruden performed no differently to Garrett in the first 2 seasons of his career - and his wasn't disrupted like Garretts has been. Payton started well but you can be sure these same Cowboys fans calling for Garretts head would have been calling for Paytons after 2 seasons of mediocrity.
While Jimmy J has got a lot of headlines for his "country club" quote, this is what he has previously said about Garrett:
Asked to elaborate on his former team-mate, Jason Garrett, being the right head coach for the current Cowboys, Johnston rattled off six reasons in this order:
1.) "His meticulous attention to detail."
2.) "He's been around great minds."
3.) "He's not afraid to go out and seek other people's opinions."
4.) "He has no ego."
5.) "He creates an environment where success is possible."
6.) "Guys want to play for him."
Finally, Johnston said: "There's certain things you can do as a coach because you've learned and there's certain things that you have to do because that's who you are as a person. You can't fake it. [Garrett's] got a lot of qualities that you would look for -- as a player -- to be in your head coach."
The biggest takeaway for me is that Garrett is a learner - his relative lack of ego, seeking of opinions says to me that he will learn from this experience and he will get better.
Lets make sure we don't lose the benefit of him climbing that learning curve a la Cleveland - surely we are smarter than that?
* Coach 1 is Chuck Noll; 2 is Jon Gruden; 3 is Sean Payton; 4 is of course, Tom Landry; 5 is Jeff Fisher.