One week ago Dallas Cowboys players and staffers were rushing to head coach Jason Garrett’s defense when he was flagged for using “abusive language” towards an official. Many people praised Jason Garrett for finally showing some emotion on the sideline.
Of course, Jason Garrett was also in the right against the official during the game against the Green Bay Packers. He was acting with conviction and on behalf of his team. He believes in them, fights for them, and he loves them. This we know through his almost full-decade at the helm of America’s Team.
There’s no question that Jason Garrett is a phenomenal leader of men. Many have said that he would make a great CEO, that they believe he’s a great coach Monday through Saturday, but it feels like just about everyone who’s followed the Dallas Cowboys in his tenure has reached a point where they’ve grown frustrated with him on a Sunday.
For the first time ever, it looked like Jason Garrett had lost the team
Part of the reason why many regard Jason Garrett as a great leader is because of the results we’ve seen. It’s often asked “when have you seen the team quit on him?” because the answer to that is a fair point in considering the job that he occupies. You have to be a hell of a leader.
2019 is Garrett’s ninth full season with the Cowboys and in only two seasons prior have the Cowboys played any meaningless games at the end of a season (meaningless as in they were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention entering a given game). While nobody is handing out Super Bowl trophies for that type of statistic, it’s still true.
Watching “All or Nothing” a season ago helped shed light on exactly who Garrett is behind the press conference cameras. He’s driven, focused, kind-hearted, and he can cuss with the best of them. He has a unique way of being able to bond with all of those around him. To whatever degree you calculate it, that’s valuable.
None of that seemed to be the case at MetLife Stadium against the New York Jets, though. After Sam Ficken gave the Jets an eight-point lead with little time left, the Cowboys trotted off the field and, per usual, were greeted by Jason Garrett with a lending hand of support.
This time was different, though. This time the Cowboys were on the brink of losing three games in a row for the first time in a year and a half, with the latest one coming to the New York Jets. This time there was very little rah-rah effort on the way back to the bench.
Maybe we shouldn’t over-analyze a clip that’s only a few seconds long, but the truth is we haven’t seen this sort of disposition from the Cowboys under their current head coach. Perhaps it was simply one bad day or moment, or perhaps it’s the effects of frustration starting to hit their boiling point.
In a year of such importance, Jason Garrett’s Cowboys have to do more
Every season always feels big, but this one is uniquely big. Think about the state of the Dallas Cowboys organization as we sit in the first of of October of 2019. The very fabric of who this franchise will be in the near future hangs in the balance.
How is that so? Consider that Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Byron Jones all remain as offseason priorities in terms of contract extensions. Getting them locked up is going to be a huge part of defining who this team is for the next half decade.
Dallas already has a legitimate nucleus in place with their recent long-term contract recipients in DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, La’el Collins, and Ezekiel Elliott, but what if they have to start over at head coach? All of this talent and the potential that lies with it can fade rather quickly.
Of all the contracts up in the air the most important - in terms of how they impact the organization - is inarguably Jason Garrett’s. This season will determine his football future and giving a team their first win in Week 6 is not exactly the way to go about hurrying that process.
If you ask anyone around here you’ll hear that the Cowboys have oodles of talent, a lot of it on manageable and team-friendly deals. What good is that though if you don’t have a brain trust that can utilize it to its full effect? Sure the Cowboys had some injured players in New York, but that’s where coaching comes into play. You have to be able to rise above, and it’s not like Jason Garrett was asked to do that against the New England Patriots... it was the New York Jets.
The latest Cowboys loss is one of the more difficult ones to take in Jason Garrett’s tenure with the team, incidentally it came on Jerry Jones’ birthday. We’ve seen the Cowboys owner express great patience when it comes to how he’s behaved with Jason Garrett, but such a critical loss has to stir up emotions of frustration and “I’ve had enough of this!”.
Jason Garrett is a great leader of men and there have undoubtedly been times (it may not feel like it right now) where that’s been the propelling force behind a Cowboys victory. He did not propel them to victory against the New York Jets, though.
That’s a problem.