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The Recent Staff Shake Up: Jason Castrated or Holding the Assistants Accountable?

The common perception, both nationally and in the metroplex, is that the recent shake up starts and ends with Jerry Jones. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. The short version is that any head coach in the league would have issues with with the progress, or lack there of, being made by some of the Dallas coaches. Lets start with Rob Ryan. For two years his players have looked confused and out of position o the field. In addition, we have all commented on the many times the Dallas defense had 9, 10, or 12 players on the field. Add to that a lack of sideline discipline that resulted in a 15 yard penalty against his top assistant, and it becomes easy to see how a highly organized and self disciplined person like Jason Garrett would be less than satisfied with Ryans performance. His failure to live up to expectations was the final nail in Coach Ryan's coffin.

Moving on to the next early departure, we find Skip Peete. The running game in Dallas has been an issue for several seasons. Sure the offensive line has been part of the issue, but for the most part, the backs have been falling down on the job as well. With Felix Jones likely not to be returning for 2013, it was very important for the Cowboys to develop a second option to spell Murray. That responsibility fell directly on Peete. In camp both Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar flashed potential to be a solid option for the team, but once the team left Oxnard, neither of these guys played much of a role for the Boys. In addition, the team signed a fullback who had previously been the lead blocker for several 1000 yard seasons. He too failed to make the impact that was expected of him. When a single player is having issues, it is usually the player but when 3 of the 5 guys coached by one individual are not progressing, that indicates that they are not responding to the coach. It becomes time to make a change.

Likewise with John Garrett there was a situation where it was imperative for a guy from down the depth chart to emerge. Disgruntled or not, most of us would admit that Martellus Bennett had been a helluva blocking tight end in Dallas. Based on his performance prior to being injured John Phillips had the potential to fill his shoes as did rookie James Hanna. Hanna, as you recall, came into the league with a reputation for being a blocker with questionable hands. John Garrett had solid tools that should have allowed him to provide his brother with a decent guy to help run the two TE sets that Jason prefers. Despite having guys who could get thee job done, the position coach did not deliver. As a result, John Garrett, either on his own or with his brothers urging, chose to persue other coaching opportunities.

For DL coach Brian Baker the recent lack of non-dominating defensive lines finally caught up to him. Likely had an obvious upgrade not emerged with the coaching change in Chicago, Coach Baker would have been given an additional year in Dallas, but when marinelli became availible Jason made the change. This move also gave him an heir in place for when Monte Kiffen chooses to retire.

No matter which team these guys coached for, they would have been subject to serious review after the end of the season. The players that played for them had been underperforming, and in a what have you done for me lately league I highly question if many of the head coaches in the league would have wanted to retain them for the upcoming season. This is something that Jason Garrett did at the end of last season, with the dismissal of Dave Campo and Hudson Houck. You didn't hear anyone calling those moves anything other than what the were: coaches being held accountable for the performance of their players. Lets not forget that in addition to what happens on the field, which we all see, Jason Garrett also sees how these guys coach daily in practice and in the meeting rooms. In all likelihood, he would not be pleased with the type of things he was seeing. He made the hard decisions that coaches who are focused on building a successful program have to make.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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