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Are the Dallas Cowboys Distancing Themselves from HC Jason Garrett?

Sean Martin

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Distancing Themselves from HC Jason Garrett? 2

Training camp is always an exciting time for the Dallas Cowboys, with 2018's proceedings being no exception. A major difference this year is the hype carrying over to the Cowboys coaching staff, featuring newcomers at the positional level everywhere but running back, safety, and defensive tackle.

Experienced coaches like Kris Richard, Paul Alexander, and Sanjay Lal will have a big impact on the Cowboys development as a 9-7 team that's only gotten younger this offseason. Still likely in need of a playoff appearance to save the job of Head Coach Jason Garrett and his coordinators, one can't help but question Garrett's effectiveness with this year's team.

The Cowboys appearance on NFL Films' latest All or Nothing series offered Cowboys Nation a rare look inside this team's day-to-day activities, including Garrett's role as a motivator and leader to many coaches no longer with the team.

Are the Dallas Cowboys Distancing Themselves from HC Jason Garrett?

Garrett's walk through a proverbial hall of mirrors at The Star reflects much deeper though. Ultimately, it's the players that decide games on Sundays, and the Cowboys didn't have enough of their blue chip ones on the field together for 2017. Whether or not this changes in 2018, the Cowboys can do little to shake the truth that conditions must be perfect for Garrett to captain this team to success.

If having a future Hall of Fame tight end like Jason Witten around wasn't enough for Garrett, going all in on this team in their first year without not only Witten but Dez Bryant feels foolish.

This underdog status and youthful nature may very well bring the Cowboys back to their 2016 form. I've already mentioned mirrors however, and how about the smoke? Garrett's best year out of eight full seasons, that 13-3 campaign was surely not all 'smoke and mirrors', but it is now far enough in the past to expect improvement from the Cowboys head coach.

Garrett must overcome massive changes on the offense he once coordinated to see third-year Quarterback Dak Prescott put this team back in the playoff picture, or the Cowboys will only continue to change face even more dramatically for 2019.

Long gone are the innocent days of Garrett playing catch under the California sun with a rookie Prescott, who had no idea the impact he'd make on the entirety of this franchise so quickly. Now, the Cowboys may have to quickly separate this duo if looking to preserve a window of contention under Dak's rookie contract.

It truly will be fascinating to see the new points of emphasis this revamped Cowboys coaching staff brings to the team not only on the field in Oxnard but through their team meetings and into the regular season. As Garrett allows the likes of Richard and Lal to oversee important changes at CB/S and WR respectively, his overarching message of character, competition, and respect will still echo throughout the team.

Are the Dallas Cowboys Distancing Themselves from HC Jason Garrett? 1

Whether or not the slew of new players Garrett has to coach can inspire him to implement this message effectively, or if his days are numbered given the slack the Cowboys have already provided, is the most important story line for the Cowboys in 2018.

By most team's standards, a 9-7 season given the circumstances around the Cowboys a year ago is acceptable -- which it ultimately was for Dallas as they kept Garrett, Scott Linehan, and Rod Marinelli.

This team's shortcomings through a disappointing season was enough for the Cowboys to begin reevaluating the coaches below this trio though, leaving only their ninth year head coach to fall victim to the level of turnover NFL teams are experiencing on the fly right now.

The Cowboys roster has received this message loud and clear. Will Garrett's carry the same impetus, and will it truly matter for the 2018 season?

Tell us what you think about "Are the Dallas Cowboys Distancing Themselves from HC Jason Garrett?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Ethan Chazin

    July 22, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    wow, Sean talk about an “opinion” piece. Care to offer up any and I mean ANY facts to support your belief that JG is “on the hot seat?” Wow. Insightful. you make one point…that having witten around wasn’t enough to catapult JG’s team to the depths of the post season. How about a poor roster constructed with extremely overpriced stars beyond their prime, horrible FA moves, wasted draft picks and last season Lee, smith, Elliott all out of extended periods. I hate JG personally and think he is a waste of a HC but try infusing some facts into your spin. Cuz otherwise, how else explain why the longest tenured Cowboys HC besides Landry will get the ax if he doesn’t win…say….TWO playoff games???

  2. Debbie Whitlock

    July 22, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Jg as hc needs to step up in
    game situations, draw up plays in the dirt and override in game situations. After 8 seasons, he has demonstrated that he has never elevated his hc skills. I would have fired him immediately after the atlanta game last year. He is not a great game caller, never has put three excellent phases on the field. Give me shawn mcvay or peterson in philly. Those are two great coaches! Problem in dallas is garrett has the players busting their butts constantly going nowhere. One thing i hate more than anything is waste and deflection. Garrett also cannot look straight at anyone and give them an honest unrehearsed sincere answer about anything. Get real, jason garrett, or get out!

  3. Roger Johnson

    July 22, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Jason Garrett isn’t a good head coach, and that’s pretty obvious. Two winning seasons. I don’t count 9-7 this past season as a winning season. He played his starters the whole game to save the embarrassment of another 8-8 season. We dropped 4 draft spots by winning that game.

    Why am I bringing that up? Because Jason Garrett isn’t the problem in Dallas. And any fan that thinks otherwise hasn’t been paying attention for the past 20 years! However, they’ve had success despite Garrett. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that this coming season will be one of those years. Despite Garrett and the other TWO PROBLEMS! And I’m not referring to the offensive or defensive coordinators.

    • texasaaa

      July 23, 2018 at 1:04 am

      Roger and other Cowboys readers:
      Why do you think JG tried to win the game knowing (I’m not sure he knew even if everyone else in the stands did) we would go down in the draft.
      1. Did he do it because he is an honest straight forward person / coach?
      2. Did he do it because he just didn’t realize we would go down in the draft (akin to some of his bad clock calls / plays etc )?
      3. He had a bet in Vegas the Cowboys would win?
      There has to be a reason. If any of these aren’t it what do y’all think it was???

      AND if the coach wasn’t on top of his game why didn’t some of the players just let up and not win the game (same questions as above)?

      I still do not understand the real reason. Maybe we will never know. Maybe Jason doesnt even know….

  4. John Lindauer

    July 23, 2018 at 3:19 am

    Short answer: no.

    But I do think by adding Kris Richard and Sanjay Lal they have installed the heir apparent to Marinelli & Linehan. That said: if JG’s team stays healthy, they’ll win a lot of games. If I’m not mistaken, Marinelli’s contract expires this year. So KR gets the DC job in 2019. Same goes for Linehan and Lal in 2019.

    Look for Linehan to be HC of the Redskins in 2020. (That’s a joke btw).

    Garrett’s contract expires after 2020. If they tank this year – he’ll be fired. But I don’t see that happening. The Oline is deeper than ever – and the defense looks improved from the 2017 edition. So JG will coach until the end of his contract – a which time, look for JG to become an Exec. VP (like Will McClay) at the end of the 2020 season – and Kris Richard to become HC then.

    • Zac H

      July 23, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      I don’t know if it is because I like your prediction that I agree with it, but I do hope you are correct. Romo for OC 2020!!

  5. Dylan Beam

    July 23, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Serious clickbait title. Doesn’t offer any support of the thesis or evidence of “cowboys distancing themselves from Garrett”. In fact, besides the title, it never even mentions it again. At least if you are going to write an opinion piece, support your own opinion. Don’t throw it there and not back it up.

    • Kevin Black

      July 24, 2018 at 6:40 am

      Agreed.

  6. Ddenney1

    July 23, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Garrett is a nice guy and good guy!! But for a guy that graduated Princeton and was back on a GREAT TEAM and the GI ants and has coached forb15 years in the league HE IS TURRIBLE at clock management and half time ADJUSTMENTS!!!! He has been a MEDIOCRE HEAD COACH at best!! He is much like Wade Phillips and Norv Turner FINE Coordinators BUT NOT HEAD COUCHES!!!!

  7. Gbear

    July 25, 2018 at 2:31 am

    I’ve long held the belief that JG and JJ are tied at the hip. JJ doesn’t come out and say it of course but as long as JG keeps the boys competitive and with a squeaky clean image he’ll be there as long as JJ draws breath. If JJ was removed completely from the equation, I fully believe Stephen would’ve already fired him, because SJ wants his own SB celebration and trophy. Until then, we’re stuck with JG.

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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