The Dallas Cowboys wrapped up their third and final minicamp practice and will now take a little more than a month off before they head to Oxnard, California for training camp at the end of July. This offseason has been a hectic one for the Cowboys. Whether it’s been Jason Witten retiring, Dez Bryant being released, or the coaching staff seeing a huge turnover, there has been so much change inside the Cowboys organization and we’re still not even in training camp.
With all the change we’ve seen, there has been few things that stayed consistent, one thing that has stayed consistent is Jerry Jones letting us all know that Jason Garrett is not on the hot seat in 2018. After a disappointing end to the 2017 season, many thought that this would be the end of the Jason Garrett era in Dallas. They were wrong.
Jerry Jones on Jason Garrett being on the hot seat “it’s fair for you to ask ... but he’s not on my hot seat.” #cowboyswire— Nick Eatman (@nickeatman) January 23, 2018
In Jason Garrett’s eight-year tenure as the Cowboys’ head coach, he holds a 67-53 record, but has only three winning seasons under his belt. It is often said that the Cowboys are known to be the definition of an 8-8 team with an 8-8 head coach. When you look at the statistics it’s hard to argue against that even with the .559 winning percentage that Garrett holds. The most disappointing statistic surrounding the Cowboys’ head coach is the playoff record under Garrett. Since taking over as the head coach in 2010, the Garrett-led Cowboys have only reached the playoffs twice and are 1-2 in the three playoff appearances.
Going into year-nine as the Dallas head coach, Jason Garrett has to feel the pressure from the media, the front office, and the fans to take this team deep into the playoffs in order to keep his job in 2019. For a guy who was already somewhat on the hotseat entering the offseason, things have not gone according to plan for the 52-year old head coach. Since the Cowboys 6-0 win over Philadelphia to wrap up the 2017 season, the Cowboys offense lost their top-two pass catchers, the defense lost their starting middle linebacker, and there are multiple new coaches on both sides of the ball. But even with all the turnover, that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing, and it certainly shouldn’t be an excuse if the team does struggle in 2018.
With losses, came additions. The Cowboys added some quality talent this offseason via the draft, free agency, and signing some coaches with new ideas including: Kris Richard, Sanjay Lal, Leighton Vander Esch, Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns, Dalton Schultz, and Connor Williams to try and improve the team. With all the new additions, on paper the ‘18 roster looks like an upgrade over the ‘17 roster when you take into account the talent on both the coaching staff and the roster, but it’s Jason Garrett’s job to put everyone (coaches and players) in the best opportunity to succeed. That’s where Jason Garrett has struggled the most in his time as head coach.
2017 Cowboys offense was run Zeke & if we get behind the sticks, pass to Dez (sometimes Witten). NOTE: their most successful plays were almost NEVER Zeke runs. They were most successful passing on early downs or when DAK WAS RUNNING. (See for all tms: https://t.co/cxOly8KCdg ) pic.twitter.com/LkQgRAEF4J— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 10, 2018
One of the biggest pet peeves most have with Garrett is his inability to make adjustments and/or coach his players out of bad situations. The Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons games come to mind when thinking of examples of his inability to adjust. In both of those games the Cowboys offensive game plan was consistent with years past. Run the football, set up play-action, and take what’s given to you. The only problem was none of those things were working, and thanks to All or Nothing, we know Jason Garrett had no interest in changing said game plan. That ended with Ezekiel Elliott only gaining eight-yards on nine-carries against Denver’s dominant run-defense, and Adrian Clayborn just about setting the single-game sack record with six sacks on Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Presscott. The most disappointing takeaway from those games is Dallas never even reached any kind of adjustment that might have given them a chance.
And that’s where we look at the coordinators, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli. Both guys are back as coordinators for the Cowboys offense and defense in 2018, and you should expect to see similar game plans from both guys that we have come accustomed to seeing. While both Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli have total control over the play-calling of both the offense and defense, Jason Garrett has just as much power and say-so in what goes on, what plays are called, and what adjustments need to be made. With a ton of fresh blood coming in as assistants, we’ll have to wait and see how much impact Kris Richard, Sanjay Lal, and Paul Alexander have on their respected sides of the football.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget how long Jason Garrett has been the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys due to all the drama, wasted seasons due to injury, and the few good runs we saw in 2014 and 2016. But if this 2018 season ends on a similar note that it ended on last year, expect a new head coach in 2019. Whether he wants to admit it or not, Jerry Jones is starting to get restless, expect him to make the tough decision if things do not improve this upcoming season.
Will Jason Garrett be the Cowboys head coach in 2019?
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