Forward Thinking: Garrett Gets Two More Years 'n S'mores

Garrett gets two more seasons

Simply put, an organization does not undertake what the Cowboys have this offseason without planning to maintain a power structure throughout the process. Fiscal responsibility has furthered our dependence on coaching. Talent is being farmed from within, filling our roster with youthful players who want to be here. Attitude on-field is the most tangible evidence of change, nothing else has been given time to grow into more.

Garrett’s short-term success after Wade’s firing has been written off by us critics as a result of a roster that had a fire lit under it. Each of his full seasons, including the new season, has been spent in considerable roster and staff change. Based on results, one could say the only theme recurrent as tumult has been perceived in-game gaffes. Considering our upside is an enlightening study. Despite the wrenching losses, Silverback’s N.O. success, and still-unproven coaching mix, our club is in an infinitely better position than it was two seasons ago.

Stephen Jones clearly supports Garrett and has entrusted him with the process of bringing the franchise in line with what is necessary for success under the new CBA. Recently confirmed was our belief that the Joneses were making decisions based on the belief they were competing for a Super Bowl over the last three years; this means they know that Garrett has had his hands tied and has done a remarkable job of fielding a competitive team. Transition within the organization to a true Head Coach role was the last bit of evidence.

Garrett is doing what generals should be doing. He is not guiding formations, but knows what formation is called. He is not recruiting talent, but knows his troops and prospects. He is entrenched with the Chiefs of Staff, and requisitely, his face is the highest level where popular accountability can be attained (the Joneses ain’t firing themselves,).

Jerry is clearly stepping down in some forms. Transition of this scale is normally planned ahead, and only happens when power structure to fill the void is in place. Garrett’s evolution in the last years to a position not entrusted any coach since Jimmy is quite remarkable. Talent acquisition is going well; it could be seen as a waste to not give Garrett two seasons under the staff he currently heads, and an opportunity to have cap space not dependent upon restructuring a veteran he may see departing shortly.

Watching the playoff chase develop last year, as we remained atop the NFC East for an unbelievably long time considering our play, I opined that Garrett may not be given another year if we did not close the season. Instead of departing, we committed deeply to Garrett’s process. Chances of coach losing the locker room are slim, give him two seasons.

Carpet bombing a draft?

Tea is up in China; wanna know why?

That is the conversation we as fans start every time we talk about draft needs. Every NFL player is an individual that has every common aspect to their life, plus fame. Each is on an individual arch of growth as humans and ball players. Only the coaches know where their players and futures prospects’ heads are at. We are reading last year’s leaves with no knowledge of shipping costs in Malaysia.

Truth is, if our youth has continued to develop our defensive line is at least serviceable with the addition of one more rushman. Fickle powers may collapse another perceived strength; Witten goes down, Ebron looks like a great pick. Picking up O-line early or not at all is a meme I would forward. Offensive guard is a very upgradeable spot on our team, as RT will be in two years. Pass rushers will be available in the second, unless there is more of a run than there was on O-line last year. Safety is also an important enough position to stranglehold in the first if there is a clear talent.

Compensatory draft picks are amazing, as is our ability to discern who the other thirty-one teams are sniffing. Almost like the Cowboys have been more confident in knowing who won’t be drafted than they have been in the abilities of their mid-round selections. If you know you have a couple sure things each year (2.5,) in your first, second and UDFAs, poach some fish from the pack’s barrell. Going back several years, many highly successful teams have had more than 19 UDFAs on their 53 during the playoffs, this is the modern landscape. McClay’s addition will hopefully add depth to our knowledge of our later-round large school prospects, small improvement in our mid-tier recruiting would pay dividends.

An eloquent response to The Real Dirk Gently…

Singling Dirk out is not a sign of disrespect, if I had no respect his name would not come off my fingers. Rather, he has contributed so much in the way of stats and tangibles, and spent so much time in rebuttal that I feel comfortable using him as an opposite to prove my nearly indefensible point.

Football is a game of momentum. NFL fans saw opening day, a coach’s decision to not challenge a call and the ensuing big play set the tone for a miserable game. Cowboys nation saw it week one when despite creating a ton of turnovers, we barely won due to an untimely communication INT and some bad decisions. Unwilling to regurgitate the roller coaster of our season in real detail due to utter lack of necessity (read the post-game breakdowns by Dave and the FPWs,) Super Bowl Sunday lent the perfect display of one team setting a tone and remaining dominant through execution.

Lot of people have been called names on this board for saying that Romo, Garrett and the Cowboys don’t play with killer instinct. Romo clearly carries us in some aspects, but clearly makes big mistakes during important moments of games his team has played well enough to win. Our team in general has a propensity for penalties and mental errors in moments that deflate the crowd and ‘take the wind out of the stadium’. Our defense and running game have not always been terrible, this is a common theme.

Another season in. Once again, we are both right. Romo can slump a few games but still have great season stats. He is going to miss some easy ones due to a well-earned hypersensitivity to linebackers and turf. Early pirouettes and decreased propensity for easy, four-yard scrambles are evidence Romo may be past the point of no return.

Delude yourself not, Romo has taken a beating from the middle of our line and it has caught up with him. Last season, some quality cross-pancake action was added to his highlight reel of brutal hits. Thinking too much is something that is very hard to break in sports. The best way is to tangibly remove the cause of stimuli and rebuild genuine confidence. Four weeks into free agency, looks like we are probably drafting o-line high. When you want to set tone, control the line; our staff is getting it.

Don’t be surprised if we do not restructure Romo’s contract the predestined remaining time. This is one of the last big bullets the Cowboys are staring at swallowing; Romo may perform to his contract, probably not. The landscape for bringing in a young QB next year is set; even if Weeden outplays Orton, we’ll probably only carry two QBs this year. Weeden taking that step then hopefully not getting a chance to prove himself in-game may not be enough for us to stake our mid-term future on.

State of the Nation

This has been a wonderful offseason for Cowboys news, Stephen’s recent interviews in particular. Many ideas bandied about on this site as conjecture have been confirmed. Our collective intelligence is on-point, and most of us have our arrow pointing up…

BTB has seen our share of nagging on both sides of cap management. Zero-performing assets were the primary fear of those preaching restraint. Quite frankly, we have lost on some of the deals that BTB’ers have decried the last several years.

I understand this is a poor man’s train of thought, but follow me for a moment. Demarcus Ware’s presence is not worth $7 mil. Regardless, we were seeing a cap hit; keeping him would have cost us about $7 mil additional this season if I understand. We would rather cut our future HOF DE and be rid of smaller dead money after cutting him next season - if he underperformed.

Training staff may know more about DWare’s medical than has been made public. Coaches may have a lot of faith in our youth. Everything kind of points to our continuing trend of trimming that which does not serve us. Aggressively this season, we again served notice that no one on the roster is safe. Special teams captains who probably aren’t developing into quality safeties may be replaced.

I really like where we are going. Looks like we had our third straight quality draft last year and we honed our recruiting structure. Obviously, this season’s contracts look optimal. Dead cap money will be in a higher percentile than recent seasons, I believe, and is justified by looking forward and knowing that in two seasons, the $30 mil we would have paid to aged vets will be allocated to our talent and young FAs.

So, we probably have another eight or nine win season this year, maybe playoffs if we are lucky. Execution would have made us a playoff team the last three years, we will again be instituting new schemes on O and D, so only so much improvement can be expected. Execution may get worse before it gets better, but tone and attitude has been shifting. Discipline should be developing into one of our strengths.

Give it two more years to grow.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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