After doing a solid job with the team he inherited when Wade Phillips was fired in mid-season, Jason Garret was rewarded by being named as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The team that Garrett inherited in his first full season was a far cry from what Dallas fans normally would expect from their team. The franchise was poised for a radical overhaul and under his guidance, Jason Garrett played a key role in the revitalization of the roster. That rebuild has yet to bear fruit for the Cowboys.
Many things have improved during the Garrett era, including a perceived shift from "flashy" draft picks and "shiny" free agent signings to a more conservative philosophy. The Cowboys began to focus more on building depth across the roster and bringing in guys who has the potential to become solid players rather than overpaying for aging talent that was on the downside of their careers. There is a solid foundation being laid in Dallas; progress which should serve the team well for the near future.
The problem comes into play because the progress that has been made in strengthening the roster has not paid off with tangible results. In his three seasons as the head coach, Jason Garrett's record has been 8-8, 8-8, and 8-8. That record will not continue to cut in in Dallas or anywhere else around the NFL. Along the way there have been coaching blunders galore. We have witnessed the "icing his own kicker" episode, numerous play-calling failures that defied all conventional logic, and terrible clock management decisions that cost the team. In an attempt to resolve the problems there have been numerous coaching changes. This includes three different coordinators on defense and another two (three if you count Garrett as his own OC during the first two seasons of his tenure) on offense. Still the results have been the same each season.
At this point, Jerry Jones patience has to be wearing thin; for fans and the media it is becoming more and more obvious that Jason Garrett may not be the person to lead the team on Sunday afternoons. The fact that his contract has not been renewed already serves to reinforce the fact that he has reached a 'put up or shut up" point. Building a solid base for the future is a good thing for the franchise, but at the end of the day the only thing that will be remembered is the team's record. Al Davis was famous for his "Just win, Baby!" attitude, and that is a mission statement for Jason Garrett in 2014. The time has come for his rebuilding efforts to pay off. If Garrett and his charges cannot provide proof that progress is being made in the only place that counts, it is likely that there will be a new coach on the sidelines in Dallas in 2015.