For years, the Dallas Cowboys were able to build teams that many considered contenders but they continued to come up short. When there is a general consensus that a team is stocked with talent on the roster, their inability to have post-season success leads to questioning of the head coach. So it was only a matter of time before the Cowboys decided to let Jason Garrett go.
The Old: Jason Garrett
Jason Garrett wasn’t the worst coach the Cowboys have ever had, and we shouldn’t ignore the fact that Garrett was able to build the Cowboys roster with players he drafted. With a focus on the “right kind of guys”, Garrett did a great job of building solid rosters with the help of vice president of player personnel Will McClay and the two Joneses.
Garrett was loyal to his players to a fault, and that would eventually come back to bite him later on. Whether it was putting players on the field that had lost a step, or just playing players that weren’t as talented as their back-ups but had greater seniority, Garrett made some curious decisions. In that aspect, Garrett did more harm than good for his teams, he also failed the team when it came to in-game decisions. He would mismanage the clock thereby giving the opposing team time to score, or he would challenge calls at the wrong time. He would also make poor decisions in short yardage situations and showed a conservative nature when the NFL was exploding in the passing game.
All of those reasons, combined with the need for new blood, caused the Cowboys to let Garrett go and bring in a new coach. That new coach has a Super Bowl ring and more experience making decisions at crucial times in games.
The New: Mike McCarthy
If you were looking for a coach to take over the Cowboys right now, then Mike McCarthy was the perfect fit for owner Jerry Jones and this team. His extensive history is one that not many have in the NFL including leading a team to a Super Bowl win; it appears the Cowboys have found a great replacement for the respected out-going head coach Jason Garrett. McCarthy, like Garrett, specializes on the offensive side of the ball but is much more enamored with the passing game.
He also is a very skilled game manager, a skill Garrett lacked while being the head coach of the Cowboys. That skill cost the Cowboys at least one game a season, but with McCarthy now at the helm those instances should stop. He will also bring a new mentality to this team as he is trying to foster a new environment that is focused on utilizing the talents of the players, instead of fitting them to a scheme.
That change in culture has already taken hold as the players have come out and said they have been given more of a voice to give suggestions to the coaches. So far, with all the reports and how he’s performed in the past, it’s safe to assume that the Cowboys are in good hands going forward.
Jason Garrett, for all of his shortcomings, was able to build a talented roster for the Dallas Cowboys organization. Now, the Cowboys are hoping that Mike McCarthy can get them over the hump and back to that elusive Super Bowl and a sixth championship.