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Dallas Cowboys: What’s Jason Garrett’s Job Security?

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Week Three Meltdown: Blame The Whole Damn Team 1

When you think of the top coaches in football, the names that come to mind are Bill Belichick and Bruce Arians. Both coaches have aligned their teams for current and future success thanks to their quality drafts and their smart decision-making. To win a Super Bowl, a lot has to go right for a team. However, one of the biggest parts of the process is by stacking your team with talent and that's one thing Jason Garrett has actually excelled at doing.

The Dallas Cowboys have been an enigma over the course of Garrett's tenure. Ever since Garrett took over as the interim head coach in the middle of the 2010 season, the Cowboys have looked so good at times and so horrible at times. The blame is placed on Garrett for being unprepared and for having bad clock management issues. However, when play-calling was given to Scott Linehan and Garrett was given just head-coaching duties, things seemed to go really well for Dallas.

Perhaps the biggest issue over the course of Garrett's tenure has been is inability to manage the clock well. Time and time again, we see problems regarding challenges, clock, and timeouts. Fans see this and they also see his conservative play-calling and they are quick to judge Garrett. However, what they don't see is how much he means to the future of this team.

When Garrett was named head coach, he and Will McClay paired together to form a duo that has consistently brought in talented NFL prospects. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Anthony Hitchens, and Byron Jones are a few players that have been brought in under this administration.

Dallas has made the correct decisions in the past few years and if it weren't for the injuries to major stars like Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Orlando Scandrick, who knows where this season could've been and where it could've went? Despite the Cowboys' forgettable 2015 season, this is still a team that could make a Super Bowl run in 2016. Simply put, the coaching staff is not the reason to blame for this season's debacle.



An online sports writer for about three years now, Ryan is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. He writes about his favorite team on Inside The Star. Ryan also writes for other publications like Roster Watch, Rant Sports, and Cuse Nation. Ryan is a freshman at Syracuse University majoring in Information Management and Technology. You can follow him on Twitter @RyanRattyNFL.

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10 Comments
  • Fatcat

    I beg to differ. …the coaching staff has most of the blame. Yeah there were start players missing but there is too much talent on this team to lose seven straight. I'm watching the Cowboys play and I'm wondering. ..do they have a gamelan at all? Who scouted the opponents? Do they have any idea what the other team is trying to do? Also everyone was thinking that last year's offensive line was only going to carry on the same dominance this year. ..but we lost the O line coach. ..it makes a difference. I like Jason Garrett but I think he was much better at calling plays. All he ever talks about is getting players that play the right way. .how about getting some coaches that can breakdown game film and come up with a plan of attack

  • cjprine

    I have never been a fan Jason Garrett, but I don't think this season is all on him! I look at the coordinators first! Defense….. Watching last week's defense come out fired up and actually attacking! I screamed where was that all year— to long has our dbs consistently asked to play 7 yds off receivers and letting the opposing QB pick us apart!
    Offense— I think linnehan didn't handle the transition of QBs in his game plan! IMO to vanilla and to worried of mistakes! I get risk/reward and field position but you have to be willing to throttle it

    Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk

  • DBOYZwv

    cjprineI have never been a fan Jason Garrett, but I don't think this season is all on him! I look at the coordinators first! Defense….. Watching last week's defense come out fired up and actually attacking! I screamed where was that all year— to long has our dbs consistently asked to play 7 yds off receivers and letting the opposing QB pick us apart!
    Offense— I think linnehan didn't handle the transition of QBs in his game plan! IMO to vanilla and to worried of mistakes! I get risk/reward and field position but you have to be willing to throttle it

    Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk

    That's 1 thing rod did was blitz more this past game. Look at the difference it made cousins could never get set up and throw unlike the other games . I was like you screaming where was it all year lol.

  • cjprine

    Don't worry we went right back to our normal defense. We cannot get any pressure. I say fire the coordinators!

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  • Blue Star

    I never liked Jason Garrett either. Jerry just wont fire him so easily. How the heck did Bill Callahan go the rival, Pathetic.

  • bryan08252

    I think Linehan is gone, and should be. Way too predictable. For example: jumbo package at goal line. I don't recall seeing a fake then throw to FB or TE that slipped out. It's ALWAYS a run up the gut. I think Linehan was a victim of circumstance last year. Who could screw up last year with the way the line and RB gelled? Plus you had healthy Romo. This year Linehan's flaws are showing.

    I think Rod should go too. I think the D is improved but I don't like they way it's deployed. I love Rod's fire, but you can't keep trying to get a square peg into a round hole. Our receivers NEVER press. Can we jam the opposing receivers? I saw Wilcox jam a GB receiver last night once when they came out in trips left. It was great! IIRC Rodgers had to take off running because it disrupted the pattern. More of that please!!!

    I think Garrett is safe, even though we should have won at least 2 more games without Romo. But the team plays hard for him. If Jerry didn't give him that extension last off season, he might have been gone this year. But I don't see it. If next year is a repeat of this year, he's gone.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    Agreed with you Bryan except for Rod Marinelli. I think he's doing a fine job, but we aren't running his defense completely because we don't have the right d-backs for it. We need guys who can play zone coverage, not guys who HAVE to play man all the time because they aren't smart enough to play zone. Marinelli's defense generates turnovers in zone coverage, but that's not what he's been able to use. When they use zone coverage, our d-backs get confused and give up plays constantly.

    I think Marinelli stays for one more year and there will be an overhaul of the defensive backs this offseason. Linehan needs to go.

  • bryan08252

    Yeah Zac, I agree out DBs can't run Rod's defense. Sometimes when I write my responses, I don't make all my points or use all my reasons. Must be the old age!

  • cjprine

    If they can't run zone, then cut them! Get people that can run your scheme! Or coach them up! Our secondary has been garbage well before rod came into town!

    My problem with rod is Rodgers pretty much did the same thing against last year!! We didn't blitz, he pretty much was able to pick us apart when he needed to

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • maxdallasfan

    Unfortunately it's more secure than most of us want

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys 2018 Breakout Candidates: TE Geoff Swaim

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines -  76

For the 2018 Dallas Cowboys, the retirement of Tight End Jason Witten was one of the biggest developments of the offseason. It leaves a gaping hole in their offense, and no major free agent or high draft pick was added as a clear replacement. As such, fourth-year veteran Geoff Swaim may be in line for a breakout season.

A seventh-round pick in 2015, Swaim has stuck in Dallas with strong run-blocking and special teams play. His offensive production has been limited to just nine catches and 94 yards, thanks largely to the stranglehold that Witten kept on the TE position. Geoff has only been targeted 11 times in the passing game over three seasons.

But with Witten leaving, as well as veteran backup James Hanna, Swaim is now the elder statesman of the TE group. Even his limited playing time in the NFL thus far puts him way ahead of Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin, or rookie Dalton Schultz.

Based on reports from the offseason practices and camps, Geoff is getting the first crack at becoming the new starter. It makes sense given his experience edge, but also his proficiency as a run blocker.

The Cowboys will likely lean on Ezekiel Elliott heavily this year, particularly early in the season. The passing game will need time to find itself with Witten and Dez Bryant gone. They'll want to ease Dak Prescott into heavier workloads as he and his new receiving options get acclimated.

Geoff Swaim

Dallas Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim

Geoff Swaim will be one of those new options. And even though his reputation is for blocking, don't take that to mean he's not athletic.

We've seen Swaim on the move as a blocker and also in the passing game, and he's certainly got some wheels. That could make him a deceptive weapon on play-action and other passing plays out of running formations.

In some ways, losing Witten and Bryant makes the Cowboys' offense less predictable than in the past. Defenses will be less sure who to focus on, and that also creates opportunities for the new receivers.

Obviously, Swaim's breakout potential is dependent on Prescott looking his way. But unless Dak has undergone a major change in his playing style, a TE working in the short and middle parts of the field is someone he'll rely on plenty.

With training camp and preseason still to come, calling Geoff the starter right now is just an assumption. There is still time for one of the other prospects to impress and climb the ladder.

But right now, there's clearly no better candidate to claim the spot than Swaim. He has the most critical skill as a blocker, and his potential in the passing game is underrated. It's his job to lose.

The guy with only nine career catches could get that in a single game this year. Therefore, Geoff Swaim is clearly one of the major breakout candidates for the 2018 Cowboys.



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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys 2018 Breakout Candidates: LB Jaylon Smith

Jess Haynie

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#DALvsIND: 5 Cowboys Storylines To Watch In Preseason Week 2 1

No single player on the Dallas Cowboys roster right now may be more primed for a breakout season than Linebacker Jaylon Smith. His ascension as a player isn't just a big gain for the Cowboys defense, but it may be vital to their success in 2018.

Smith joined the Cowboys as a high second-round pick (34th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. Potentially a top-five elite talent in that class, Jaylon's stock fell after a severe knee injury in his final college game. It was unknown if he could ever play football again, but Dallas took the risk based on Smith's incredible upside.

After Jaylon sat out his rookie year to fully rehab. In 2017, he was able to play all 16 games and started in six. That alone was a huge win for Smith and the Cowboys.

Jaylon's performance last year wasn't great,  but understandably so after all the missed time. He also had to regain confidence in his knee, which is critical for a linebacker with all of the directional changes during plays.

Still, Smith got better as the season went. And even amidst the struggles, there were flashes of his instincts and potential.

This offseason, reports of Jaylon's improving health are fueling increased optimism. He is now playing without a knee brace and that means more confidence. If Smith fully trusts his body now, it will make him far more dangerous on the field.

5 Positives for Cowboys Heading Into the Off-Season

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

With Anthony Hitchens leaving in free agency, Dallas needs Jaylon to be a bigger factor this year. If he doesn't take the next step, it could leave the Cowboys vulnerable at linebacker in 2018.

True, Dallas drafted Leighton Vander Esch in the first round of last April's draft. But it's always dangerous to ask a rookie to do heavy lifting, and especially one who is seen as a raw talent like Vander Esch.

Ideally, anything Dallas gets from Leighton this year will be gravy. Their goal is to rely on veteran Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith, with Damien Wilson also available as a solid fallback option.

But when you mention Sean Lee, you have to mention health concerns. After two encouragingly healthy seasons in 2015 and 2016, Lee was back to having some issues last year and missed five games.

That is all the more reason why Dallas needs Jaylon to be ready for more this year. If Lee misses time again, Smith is the best suited to take over the roles that Sean leaves behind.

Thankfully, all signs point to big things for Jaylon Smith in 2018. His body appears healed and there's no questioning his work ethic and desire. If the mental aspect of football has also developed, he could be everything the Cowboys hoped when they drafted them.



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Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Sean Martin

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Despite Late Push in Year One, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See the Field in 2018? 1
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

It feels like ages ago that the Dallas Cowboys spent the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Michigan Defensive End Taco Charlton. Perhaps this is a result of the constant distancing fans have made from this unpopular pick, or the corresponding moves the Cowboys have made at DE since drafting Charlton.

These moves include using the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence after seeing him explode for 14.5 sacks, spending a fourth round pick this year on Kansas' Dorance Armstrong, and seeing Randy Gregory reinstated in time for training camp.

Across the entirety of the Cowboys roster, there will be plenty of "odd men out" that miss the cut down to 53 players. Defensive end remains one of the most cluttered spots on the current 90 man roster however.

Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton, DT Maliek Collins (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Prior to establishing the depth the Cowboys now have up front on defense, they did Taco no favors by starting his career at right defensive end. While Gregory may still be a long way from earning the starting role here, similarly styled players like Armstrong have the edge here over Charlton.

This relegates Charlton to the strong side, where he always projected best out of college. By the time the Cowboys realized this a season ago, they also knew a franchise pass rusher was playing his way into the team's long-term plans.

Lawrence's stellar consistency off the edge reduced Charlton's role in the Cowboys rotation of pass rushers. An ideal spot for the rookie to develop with less pressure on him, Charlton's opportunities to continue playing left end may only be reduced this season.

The first-round pick is capable of kicking inside at defensive tackle, a position the Cowboys could certainly use help at. However, asking Charlton to go through another position shift would only halt the progress that took quite a bit of patience from Dallas to see.

It's far from unheard of for the Cowboys to do this with their young players, but for now Charlton remains a defensive end looking to make his impact. The Cowboys are in much better position now than they were at this time a year ago when it comes to setting expectations for him to do so.

Given everything he showed on tape at Michigan as well as in his pre-draft interviews, Charlton is a player that needs to succeed at the task at hand. When this plan is altered, the 6'6" pass rusher is much less effective -- without even considering any athletic struggles that Charlton has compared to other prototypes at defensive end.

As a unit, the Cowboys defensive line has all the pieces to be very effective this season. Taco Charlton is a piece to this puzzle, a backup left end that must find a way to flourish in this role.

For most former 28th overall picks, doing so would be considered a fall from grace. For the Cowboys, it's simply an example of strong roster building that's forced life to come at Charlton quickly. How he responds with a full season under his belt will make or break the hype this deep Cowboys defensive line has garnered, lead of course by the starter at Charlton's position in DeMarcus Lawrence.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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