You are going to hear it all offseason, and it will only increase once the start of the season nears. Is Jason Garrett on the proverbial hot seat? Almost all commentators will say yes. Except for our own Tom Ryle, who makes the argument that Garrett could get more time if the 2014 season isn't playoff-worthy. But that's not the consensus.
From NFL scribes you get this:
Garrett's in-game coaching has left much to be desired. Consequently, the Cowboys continue shuffling play-calling duties, with Scott Linehan taking over as offensive coordinator in January. [Stephen] Jones told me that he thinks Linehan will take a big load off Garrett's plate, allowing the head coach to concentrate on broader decision-making. And Jones said the organization values the bright Garrett, who is "inching closer" to greatness, in the COO's words.
But Garrett can't continue to move at the pace of a tortoise -- time isn't on his side ... On paper right now -- factoring in rosters, coaches and health -- the Cowboys are not a playoff team. I would argue they are ranked somewhere between Nos. 10 and 16 in the conference. Dallas is doing the right thing, retooling with savvy football moves. The alternative wasn't working; the wins weren't there when the cap was bloated. But if Jones truly expects Garrett to deliver a division title this year, then it will take a miracle for the Cowboys coach to see this retooling process all the way through.
This is from Adam Schein at NFL.com and he makes a pretty good case. (BTW, the full article is a fun read covering the Cowboys offseason).
From other random spots, you get similar takes:
Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys Three-straight years of going 8-8 and just missing the playoffs has been pure agony for Dallas Cowboys fans. Owner Jerry Jones remains confident that head coach Jason Garrett can get the team over the hump but the pressure is only going to mount once the season starts. There is little doubt another near-miss or an outright bomb in 2014 will cost not only Garrett but several others their jobs.
The real tension here is how patient can Jerry Jones be? He, along with many people, would like to give Jason Garrett every chance to see this re-tooling all the way through, to some kind of successful conclusion. The problem is, how long can you continue searching for that success before deciding it might not ever come? If it doesn't come this year has time run out? If it doesn't come in 2015 is that the real deciding year? Part of the equation will obviously have to do with how the Cowboys play this year. Any kind of playoffs would probably be enough to validate Garrett and give him more time. But what about another close, end-of-the-season, last-weekend loss that knocks the Cowboys out without reaching the playoffs? Is that enough to save Garrett, or will it do him in?
So here's a simple poll for BTB. Vote in it below, then you can hit up the comments with your reasoning.