Going into the 2018 season, Jason Garrett's seat might as well be a throne of fire 🔥, at least as far as the fan base is concerned. There are already discussions amongst Cowboys Nation about who should replace the head coach in the 2019 offseason, but we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves, aren’t we?
Let’s let a guy coach 2018 first before we begin hiring his replacement.
I’ve stated multiple times my affection for Jason Garrett as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He’s helped them effect real change in the front office that has led to much better drafting, an excellent identity on the offensive side of the football, and he's been a good leader for the team.
How many times has this team quit on him? The only game I can think of them falling flat is the game against the Denver Broncos in week two of last year.
I won’t argue that he’s had some disappointing moments as the head coach. Clock management and in-game adjustments have been his downfall at times, and relying way too much on his coordinators.
Realistically speaking, 2018 could be his last. I get that. As much as I think he’s a good coach, there’s only so much leash, even for a Jerry Jones guy.
2018 has to be the year this squad breaks through to the NFC Championship Game.
<Pleading> It has to be!!!
I ran a poll on Twitter last week to see what Cowboys Nation thought Garrett needed to do in order to stay on as head coach for 2019:
This week's Friday #CowboysPoll is gonna center around the Head Coach. What's the minimum that the team needs to achieve for you to keep Coach Garrett? For the record, for me, it's a playoff win. Wild card or divisional. NFC is stacked. #CowboysNation
I meant to run it longer, but it looks like Cowboys fans want to see the Dallas Cowboys make it to the NFC Championship Game.
Honestly, I was a bit surprised by the results. I must have some pretty level-headed followers.
Personally, anything less than a playoff victory -- either in the wild card or the divisional round -- would be a disappointment. While I think the Dallas Cowboys are good enough to make the playoffs, because of how deep the NFC is, they could also miss the tournament altogether.
Just as I look at things now, I see 10 teams that could make the playoffs in 2018. Sadly, there are only six spots.
- Atlanta Falcons
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Dallas Cowboys
- Minnesota Vikings
- Los Angeles Rams
- Carolina Panthers
- New Orleans Saints
- Green Bay Packers
- Detroit Lions
- Seattle Seahawks
Not all of those teams will make the playoffs, but they'll all be contending for division and wild card playoff spots. Every year there is a team that surprises; could the New York Giants or Washington Redskins surprise in the NFC East?
Hey Roger, let’s talk expansion of the playoff field.
And before you start telling me that I’m building in excuses if the team fails to reach the NFC Championship or the Super Bowl, please... just stop. I’m just trying to have a realistic conversation about the fact that the NFC is stacked as a conference.
Since the Green Bay Packers made the Super Bowl in back to back seasons in Super Bowl XXXI and XXXII, only the Seattle Seahawks have represented the NFC in the NFL's championship game in back-to-back seasons.
The NFC is deep.
Gauging the Temperature of the Nation
So how hot is Jason Garrett's seat at the moment? Obviously, a lot can change this during the course of a season, but I'd say Jason Garrett's seat is heated like an 80 degree day. It's warm when you're standing in the sun, but it could be a nice day if you're in the shade and there's a nice breeze.
As those of us who live in Texas know, the weather can change in an instant, much like the security of an NFL head coach.
Jason Garrett has proven to me that he is a leader of men and has done a good job of walking the team through the transition they've had at quarterback, but he leaves a lot to be desired as an in-game x's and o's guy.
2018 is a huge year for the Dallas Cowboys and their head coach. In my opinion, Garrett needs to get them to the playoffs and win a game, whether it's a wild card or divisional round game. Sure, I'd love to see this team win a Super Bowl this season, but I'm also realistic in how difficult it is to win a Super Bowl.
Well, for everyone but Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots at least.
In your opinion, how hot is Jason Garret's seat?
Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración
Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.
Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.
Cambios de Coach
A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.
A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.
Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?
A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.
A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.
En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.
La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.
Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.
Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.
No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.
Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story
Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.
Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.
Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.
Here's why those people are wrong.
Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.
Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).
Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.
There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.
Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.
Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.
Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.
Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.
And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.
Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?
When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.
It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.
Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.
Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.
Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.
The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.
Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating
Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating
As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.
Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Now, he just has to go out and prove it!
Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?
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