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Did Garrett’s OT Decision Cost Him More Than Just the Game?

's decision to punt rather than go for it on 4th-and-1 last night is drawing heavy criticism today. The overtime loss to the has put the Cowboys in the crosshairs perhaps more than ever before, and even his owner and have had their say.

We've broken down Garrett's decision plenty already. You can click here for Kevin Brady's statistical analysis of the move, or here for my opinion of Jason's choice and the Cowboys' current overall direction.

Now, let's look at what and have had to say about the head coach's decision. What do these comments tells us about Garrett's support and job security as of today?

First, courtesy of CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson, here's what Jason himself said about his choice:

“Yeah, it was a long one,” he said after the game. “You know, we had a 3rd-and-2 and we didn't make much on it and we just felt like at that point in the game, the way our was playing, the idea was to pin them down there.”

Again, you can check out my article earlier today for what I think of Garrett's logic there. While there's some merit to what he said about the issues with the yesterday, the situation was just the wrong time to stop trusting your best players.

In overtime, in opposing territory, it wasn't a time to shy away from risk. We've seen Jason make aggressive calls before, but last night he shrunk back.

His boss didn't agree.

Sorry Jerry, but that IS second-guessing.

The Cowboys' owner and was right to do so. Most onlookers, both fans and professionals, criticized the move at the time and certainly have in hindsight.

During his post-game comments with media, QB Dak Prescott was asked if he'd have gone for it:

“Yeah, I mean, I would but in that case you don't question the coach's decision…”

Sorry Dak, but you just did.

The three most important professional relationships for any NFL head coach are with his owner, general manager, and his starting quarterback. In the Cowboys organization, 2/3 of that is Jerry Jones and some combination of and .

We know Garrett has a strong bond with the , but this is now his eighth full season as the team's head coach. The goodwill built from the runs in 2014 and 2016 is wearing off quickly.

Jason hasn't been able to help a lot of the team's problems during his tenure. He inherited a bad cap situation. If anything, keeping the team at 8-8 during those early rebuilding years was impressive.

Garrett also didn't have anything to do with major or to key players. Dallas has had their fair share of these problems since 2011.

But last night, the head coach made the call. He didn't put faith in his star , All-Pro offensive linemen, or his starting QB to go make a 4th-and-1 play. He went conservative.

Some would even argue he went scared.

Michael Lombardi Misses The Point With Unfair Jason Garrett Criticism
Owner Jerry Jones and Head Coach Jason Garrett

When a coach is close to being fired, you'll start hearing stuff like “players have tuned him out” or “he's lost the locker room.” I don't think we're there yet with Jason Garrett.

But last night didn't help on any level. Jason made the wrong move and has been called out, however politely, by both his owner and his starting QB for it.

Those decisions having last effects. Players remember when a coach didn't put faith in them. You could argue that he did put faith in the defense, but even some of them are likely disappointed in his choice.

Don't get me wrong; I like Jason. He seems like a genuinely good person and a great leader. But too often, and for too long, we've seen him make the wrong move with football strategy. We've seen him waver too much between conservative and aggressive, and many times leaning the wrong way.

No matter what else happens this year, I don't think Jerry would fire Garrett in the middle of the season. He's not handing the job to proven head- failures like or , and isn't vaulting from a position coach to the big chair.

But with the team seeming to regress from its 2016 success, Jason's methods and are rightfully questioned. And if Jerry and Dak's comments are any indication, he may be starting to lose the support of his most important allies.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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That Overtime sums up the first 5 games of the season. Fear and Basics. Fear
being not going for it on 4th and 1 due to Garretts fear of Gambling and Basics
being Tackling and Playcalling. Receivers catching,


Here’s to a new coach next year!! Now if we could only fire the GM

Harold Ellerbee

Some how I don’t think we will need to,I think Jerry is grtting the message…

Harold Ellerbee

Way to go Jacson I would rather of tried and lost than punted…think about it our punter is not that great…I think we need a full time punter who does nothing but punt….some one who can pen other teams inside the 5.
How about more beef on that O.F. line with out T.F.we can’t move other lines…like it or not it takes two people to re place T.F.


Our punter isn’t that great?!? Granted, he hasn’t been as good this year but he has been among the top 5 punters in the league the last 2 years. That’s definitely not the reason for going for it.

Brett Herman

The problem here and your right the Punter was not the problem they were pinned at the 10 yard line so what more can you ask for there like 5 yards was going to make a big difference here, we had a band don’t break game on defense while Houston was not scoring TD’s they were moving the ball and getting into FG range and that was all they needed here. The defense had to be getting gassed they were out there a long time all night now into an extra quarter.

You have to gamble there on 4th and 1 but we also need more firepower at receiver and sadly there does not seem to be any help coming anytime soon.

Harold Ellerbee

Ok the crap is over time to get back to work…as my old buddy John M….would say…shake it off…get back on the field we got another game next week…go Cow boys…


Garrett should’ve been gone a year ago while the offense has struggled and every Owner, Coach, Player, Fan knows that every team that has a Young/Strong/Nucleus of talent that there is a window of opportunity that you HAVE to take advantage of and be pro-active and push the envelope if you will…. NOT play safe and predictable! Its absolutely insane to me that BIG D’s offense has grown to be so stagnant and can’t simply move the ball and for Garrett to set by and watch and not try to get 1 yard behind that O-Line and the leagues leading rusher! I mean yeah we aren’t the same without Fredrick, but 1 YARD!!! REALLY??? I believe Jerry should watch and if this talented/physical playing team continues to play sloppy(penalties)an without urgency and have no drive (especially the offense) before Garrett totally loses the locker room if he hasn’t already and I believe the ONLY reason he wont totally is that Richard will maintain the defense and have them ready! Which the only thing I disagree with you is that I do believe that Richard is ready and should be the Dallas Cowboys HC and will be in the near future!

Michael Barthel

Garrett is a terrible coach!! He has done nothing for us in 8 years!!! Our biggest mistake was letting Sean Payton get away!! I hate Garrett I hope he gets fired I am so tired of average. He is not a good head coach and he should not be leading a team at all. Jimmy won Super Bowls cuz he didn’t care what Jerry wanted or said but Garrett is a puppet. We will once again go 8-8 again. Getting rid of dez was a mistake as you see it’s the coaches and play calling not dez.

Michael Barthel

Who in there right mind would go with the receivers we have and say we like our guys nobody in the nfl would roll out with these receivers but Dallas. I love my cowboys I’m a diehard fan but seeing how badly Dallas offense has regressed is sickening. They can’t even throw for 250 a game that’s pathetic. You just used Elliott in the passing game last week and won but where was that this week, where was the zone read that killed the giants in week 2. We have probably the worst offense in the league which tells me Garrett and Linehan have no clue what talent is or have no clue what their doing

Brett Herman

What makes zero sense is how Jerry has gone from a 100% big time gambler some 5 plus years ago and now we did a 180 degree turn and gamble on nothing anymore. We have drafted overall well the last few drafts, we continue to hand out dumb contracts and the restructuring year over year over year of Romo and the line we will still pay for through another year or two and then hopefully start to get a clean cap until we screw that up again.

Totally agree who in their right mind would roll out this receiving corp on offense and call it legit. Again we gamble on nothing Josh Gordon would have cost next to nothing we won’t pull the trigger, hell resign Dez at this point nothing can be worse than this horrific group we run out there week after week.

All of the difference makers who have been traded over the past couple of years or we could have gotten we pass on time and again. We let Earl Thomas sit out there instead of adding another All Pro.

I along with many others just don’t understand what in the hell Jones is doing. The Boys used to go grab these big name skill position players and they have done nothing eventful in years in free agency, done nothing eventful in the draft in trades just nothing zip zilch and the results show on the field a .500 team year after year after year and does not look to change anytime soon


Garrett has had more opportunities (and quality players) to create a solid team than any other NFL coach. It baffles me that a businessman like JJ keeps him around after failing year after year. That is bad business and makes me wonder if perhaps JJ himself may need to step away from the Cowboys. Dallas’ offense is putrid and currently in the hands of a really inaccurate QB with no receivers to help him. Garrett’s decision in OT reflects exactly that.


the problem is the coaching staff are trying to emulate the patriots too much. they should have nabbed earl thomas when they could have last summer when the asking price was still a second round draft. thomas might have been the key piece making the defense truly exceptional. they passed up on gordon from the browns. a low risk high reward oppurtunity. they obviously need help on receivers, and so why not jump on a proven veteran. and then dak. he has potential but he needs help to develop him. and kellen moore is simply not the man for the job. they need to get someone really experienced to coach and mentor. he will never get to that point of a true franchise quarterback alone or with subpar inexperienced coaching. sometimes the impression i get is the culture within the organization is too lax and UNDERACHIEVERS. we need the discipline of jimmy johnson and the football genius of bill parcells. and im not sure if the current staff is that.

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