Fans of the Dallas Cowboys got what they wanted - Jason Garrett is no longer the team’s head coach. After nine unfulfilled seasons, it was time for the team to move in a new direction. The frustration with Garrett reached an all-time high this year; so much that even his biggest fan couldn’t handle it anymore as Jerry Jones finally had seen enough. The
firing non-extension of Garrett brought about joy for many fans. In fact, there were some rejoicing at the idea of him joining the coaching staff of the New York Giants. Well, now that has become a reality, how does that make you feel?
Personally, I would rather see him don a headset for some team in the AFC so he’s as far away from the Cowboys as possible. As a fan of Garrett, it would then be much easier to root for him to have success and not have to worry about him using his powers against his former team every year.
There are many other fans that aren’t so concerned, but is that wise? Here are five reasons why Cowboys fans should be a little bit concerned about Garrett hanging around in the neighborhood.
1. His track record as an offensive coordinator is pretty good
If you’ve been a Cowboys fan longer than 12 years, then you probably remember a time when people absolutely loved Garrett. He was this fresh new offensive coordinator who was as sharp as a tack. In his first year as the team’s new OC, the Cowboys finished 13-3 and had the no. 1 seed in the NFC. They led the NFC in points scored, and only trailed the New England Patriots who set a new NFL record with 589 points that season (the year they went 16-0). The Cowboys point total was the second-most ever in franchise history, trailing only the 1983 team by just 12 points. Tony Romo set a new Cowboys franchise record in passing yards and touchdowns. Terrell Owens also set a new franchise record in receiving touchdowns (since passed by Dez Bryant in 2014). The team also had a two-headed rushing attack of Julius Jones and Marion Barber, where Barber had a Pro Bowl season despite never starting a single regular season game. It was pretty fantastic.
Under Garrett, the Cowboys offense always played well. Even during Wade Phillips’ last season when the team finished 6-10, the offense ranked seventh in the league in yards gained and points scored (the defense finished second-worst in points allowed). And you might think - well, that’s all because of Romo, but you’d be wrong. Romo missed 10 games that year as the offense was forced to rely on the arm of backup quarterback Jon Kitna.
While Garrett often gets the blame anytime the offense has struggled in Dallas in recent years, we might have to be open to the possibility that he might be a good offensive coordinator. Time will tell.
2. He has offensive weapons in New York
The Giants aren’t a good football team. You can say that when the team finishes 3-13, 5-11, and 4-12 over the last three seasons. Despite how bad they are, they’re actually pretty decent on offense, ranking in the middle of the pack these past couple years in points scored.
They have a young quarterback in Daniel Jones, who threw for over 3,000 yards his rookie season. He also had 24 touchdown passes, which is more than Dak Prescott had in 2016 when he won rookie of the year, despite Jones starting four fewer games. The Giants invested the sixth overall pick in him in last year’s draft, and he flashed some potential during his rookie season.
The Giants also have one of the best running backs in the league. Saquon Barkley has rushed for over 1,000 yards each year since entering the league. He’s produced 3,469 total scrimmage yards in that span. Barkley also has 23 total touchdowns, which is the same amount as Ezekiel Elliott has over the past two seasons. Under Garrett’s reign, the Cowboys have been a top 10 rushing team in six straight seasons, including three times where they have finished no. 2 in the league. The combination of Garrett and Barkley should bring about positive things for the Giants rushing attack.
While the ground attack should be fruitful in New York, the Giants also have a handful of good receivers. Veterans Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard can move the chains, but the emergence of rookie Darius Slayton gives them a playmaking scoring threat. Despite only making nine starts, Slayton led the team in yards and touchdown receptions. Even tight end Evan Engram is a threat in space if he can manage to stay healthy.
3. Garrett knows the Cowboys
There’s probably not another person on this planet that knows all the strengths and weakness of this Cowboys roster more than Jason Garrett. It’s going to be strange to have someone who knows this football team inside and out suddenly calling plays for the opposition. Garrett knows which players lack discipline, and he knows which players wear down late in the game. All the little secrets will now be in the hands of the enemy.
Not only does he know the Cowboys well, but he’s pretty savvy when it comes to the NFC East. Over the last eight games against the Washington Redskins, Garrett’s Cowboys have a 7-1 record. They’ve also won four of their last five against the Philadelphia Eagles. Garrett may not show up in other big games that matter, but he has done a great job against his NFC East opponents.
4. The enigma that was the 2019 Cowboys
It would be super fantastic if Garrett’s coaching abilities is what kept this team from going to the next level. Nobody thinks he’s terrible, but his head-coaching career points to an extensive history of only being able to take the team so far. And with the 2019 Cowboys loaded with so many good players, the failures within the coaching staff has to be the reason why this team went 8-8 and missed the playoffs, right?
Well, let’s hope so. but there is always a possibility that the mystery of why the Cowboys couldn’t get over the hump isn’t attributed to Garrett. With both organizations getting a fresh start, we’re going to be able to debug this problem real soon. Remember, the Cowboys inability to not make it to the NFC Championship game didn’t start with Garrett as other coaches had their failures. Both Bill Parcells and Chan Gailey never made it out of the wild card round. Dave Campo never even made it to the playoffs. And even though Wade Phillips had success, he also never made it passed the divisional round and went 1-7 before being fired midway through the 2010 season. In short, what if Garrett wasn’t the problem?
5. Garrett breeds positiveness
In a game where the bottom line is winning, nobody cares much about how nice of a guy you are. Garrett is a wonderful person. His new players are going to love him as he projects a great attitude among his squad. He makes his troops appreciate playing in the National Football League and is always giving credit to the other guy. Even on Garrett’s greatest day as a player, it should come as no surprise that he’s giving all the props to his teammates.
Whatever they got going on over there in New York, Garrett’s presence should help improve the culture.