If it wasn't already painfully obvious the Dallas Cowboys need to replace Jason Garrett as their Head Coach, it should be now after his poor coaching decision to not to go for the win against the Houston Texans in overtime Sunday night. It was just one of many coaching blunders in Garrett's tenure since replacing Wade Phillips nearly a decade ago. It's time for a change!
With that in mind, I decided to put together a list of a few candidates with varying coaching experience who would be on my short list to replace Jason Garrett as he Dallas Cowboys next head coach. I included everything from a few who have won the Super Bowl as a HC to collegiate coaches who have no NFL coaching experience.
I know my list of potential head-coaching candidates for the Dallas Cowboys won't match up exactly as yours, but I believe everyone I included here would be an upgrade over Jason Garrett. Continue reading below to see who I would like to see become the next Head Coach for America's Team.
Super Bowl Winning HC Candidates
Sean Payton would definitely be at the top of my list to replace Jason Garrett as the Dallas Cowboys next head coach. He not only won the Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2009, but is arguably one of the best/most creative play callers in the entire NFL. Plus, he already has a good relationship with Jerry Jones and the rest of the Jones family.
Now, Payton is still technically under contract with the Saints until 2020, but they have a kind of hot and cold relationship. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he is somehow looking for a new coaching gig after the season, and I don't think Jerry Jones would hesitate to bring him aboard. I think he would absolutely be able to get the most out of the Cowboys talented, yet poorly coached offense.
Although Sean Payton would be my first choice to replace Jason Garrett, Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy would be my close second. He is another Super Bowl winning HC (2010) who I believe would be an upgrade over Garrett. And as luck would have it, there is a high possibility he could be looking for a new job after the season.
If you believe the scuttlebutt, McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers aren't quite seeing eye to eye nowadays. Their rocky relationship could end up costing McCarthy his job, which could be good news for the Dallas Cowboys. He seems to always have the Packers making a strong push for the Super Bowl each and every year and has a proven track record, which should be welcomed with open arms in Dallas. It would be a little weird at first to see him sporting Cowboys gear, but that would fade quickly once he got the organization back on track.
First Time HC Candidates
The highest job title Kris Richard has held so far in his young coaching career in the NFL is as the Defensive Coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks. He hasn't received the opportunity to show what he can do as a head coach yet in the league, but I don't think it will be much longer until that happens. In fact, he could end up replacing Jason Garrett.
We are still in the early portions of the 2018 season, but we have already seen the impact Richard has made with the Dallas Cowboys. We have seen a much improved defense so far this season. They are much more aggressive and playing with a different kind of attitude than we have seen in the past. It's that attitude that could endear Richard to Jerry Jones. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Dallas already has their next head coach in Kris Richard.
Matt LaFleur probably isn't a name that the majority of you are very familiar with, but that doesn't mean he's not known in NFL circles. I believe he is an up-and-coming head coach candidate, although he hasn't held a job title higher than offensive coordinator so far in the league.
You could say that LaFleur is a product of the Shanahan coaching tree. He developed a good relationship with Kyle Shanahan and has followed him from the Texans, to the Redskins, and then to the Falcons. From there he joined Sean McVay, who he worked with in Washington, as the offensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, although McVay still handle the majority of the playcalling duties. In order to get out from McVay's shadow, LaFleur joined the Tennessee Titans to become their OC in 2018.
He is still a little unproven, but I think he is going to make a really good head coach in the NFL someday. If Jerry Jones wants to take a chance on someone like that, I would absolutely be on board with Matt LaFleur as the next Dallas Cowboys head coach.
John DeFilippo is also a name that many of you probably have never heard of. But, I guarantee that he is well known around the NFL and would be on a lot of short lists for teams looking for their next head coach. And yes, that includes the Dallas Cowboys.
DeFilippo is someone who is already well-versed in the NFC East division. He spent the last two years (2016-17) as the quarterbacks coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, but is currently serving as the offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings. I believe the next step in his coaching career will be as a head coach, and that could possibly be with the Cowboys.
I really like the way DeFilippo handles himself and I think he is going to make a really good head coach when he receives the opportunity. He is doing a masterful job as the Vikings OC right now, especially considering how porous their offensive line is. I believe that is a testament to his ability as a coach, which is unfortunately something we can't say the same about Jason Garrett.
Collegiate HC Candidates
If Jerry Jones is looking for someone to make the kind of out of nowhere success that Sean McVay had the Los Angeles Rams, he should set his sights on the college ranks and try to lure Lincoln Riley to the NFL to take over for Jason Garrett as the next head coach for the Dallas Cowboys. I believe he has the same kind of likability as McVay and might be just as good as a play caller.
Lincoln Riley has turned the Oklahoma Sooners into a perennial top 10 offensive unit when he first became their offensive coordinator in 2015 and continued that productivity once he took over for Bob Stoops as the HC in 2017 till now. He has taken underrated quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) and developed them into Heisman hopefuls and pro prospects. I think his infectious personality and attitude would be welcomed with open arms in Dallas.
David Shaw does have a little bit of NFL coaching experience as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, and Oakland Raiders, but nothing of real significance as of yet. He also has a pretty impressive track record as the head coach at Stanford, which makes him a pretty intriguing candidate to become the Dallas Cowboys next head coach.
At Stanford, David Shaw runs a program that would help him seamlessly transition into the NFL. He runs a pro system on both offense and defense, which is why Stanford players generally make the transition into the NFL relatively easily. I think he would be on a lot of short lists for NFL teams looking for a head coach, but so far Shaw has made no indication he wants to leave the college ranks. Maybe a job offer from the Dallas Cowboys is what he's waiting for.
Do you like any of these head-coaching candidates for the Dallas Cowboys?
The Cowboys Blueprint for Success has been Set
The Cowboys victory against the Jaguars was a reminder to everyone just how good Dak Prescott & Co. can be. They ran and threw all over the Jaguars defense like they were high school level. It was a one-sided, lambs to the slaughter type of game.
At the end of the game, it left all of us wondering, "where has this team been all year?"
Throughout the season, the Cowboys showed both dominance and incompetence on the offensive side of the football. One game the team moves the ball up and down the field with ease, the next game the offense looks inept. Last Sunday’s game versus Jacksonville shows that Dallas can be successful the rest of the season, if they continue to play as such.
Run the ball
This team was built to run the football. Look at the offensive line, their type of tight ends, their quarterback, and of course Ezekiel Elliott.
The line is full of first round talent, the tight ends are block-first types (sans Rico Gathers), Dak Prescott gives them another dimension with the mobile ability in and out of the pocket, and Elliott is one of if not the best running back in the league.
The concept of running the football should not be lost on this team.
If they let Elliott run 20 or more times per game, allow Prescott to run outside of the pocket and not just be a stand-still passer, and mix in some of Rod Smith and Tavon Austin (when healthy) to give their main runner a break, they can run on anyone.
Let Dak Move Around
What makes Dak Prescott so special to this team isn’t just his leadership, but also his ability to extend plays. He stays in the pocket if he has to but he’s so skilled outside with his legs. Zone read, play action, tuck and run, throw on the run, etc., any excuse to get Dak Prescott on the move is a plus. Defenses respect his ability to move so much that the Cowboys receivers get open more as a result.
The worst thing a coaching staff can do to a mobile quarterback is to keep him standing still when he can do so much more with his feet. Don’t buy a Corvette and keep it locked up in the garage. The best way for Dak Prescott to stay consistent and succeed as a passer is to let Dak be Dak.
The Cowboys have found a serious advantage that they’ve lacked in years past. Led by DeMarcus Lawrence and Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys have 18 sacks through the first six games of the season.
Throw in the contributions of players like Taco Charlton, Tyrone Crawford, and Randy Gregory, among others, and you’ve got the deepest pass rush the Cowboys have had in years.
The team is 7th in the league in sacks and there seems to be no sign of stopping and no shortage of players who can get to the quarterback. These numbers look like they’ll only go up from here and with the amount of players the Cowboys have to do so, Jacksonville looks like it was only a taste of what’s to come.
Creative Play Calling
A little more than a week ago Jerry Jones stated that the Cowboys offense looked similar to the L.A. Rams - a hilarious notion by most accounts, right?
The Cowboys offensive scheme had been mocked all season for being both predictable and out of date. I’m not sure how many times you can run a three tight end set and expect success when it hadn't happened yet.
The team would run then throw on first and second downs, and depending on yardage, would set up a predictable third down attempt.
Against Jacksonville, we saw more read option than we’ve seen all year. Dak Prescott was vintage. His ability to move the ball with his legs made the secondary shaky against the Cowboys receivers - especially Cole Beasley - and that opened up the playbook.
Ezekiel Elliott couldn’t be stopped and just about every receiver got in on the action. Even rookie receiver Michael Gallup got in and showed some of what Cowboy fans had been waiting for.
Hopefully, that game showed just how dangerous the Cowboys can be when they are unpredictable and let their quarterback be himself. If they game planned for today the same as they did against the Jaguars, the rest of the season will be much more winnable.
Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?
El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.
Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?
De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.
Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.
Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.
Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.
Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.
A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.
Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.
Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.
Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y ganando a la otra.
Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.
Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.
Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.
I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.
As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.
I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.
Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.
Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.
I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.
Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.
Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.
Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?
Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?
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