Though we remember Sunday’s win with rosy retrospection, the Dallas Cowboys faced their share of adversity.
After Tyreek Hill embarrassed the Cowboys’ defense and the Kansas City Chiefs opened the second half with an impressive, and easy, touchdown drive, Dallas fell behind 17-14. They had controlled the first half, and should probably had been on their way to an easy victory.
But, in the NFL, nothing comes easy. And the Cowboys were forced to dig deep and fight back against the mythical momentum which pushed them into a second half hole.
And, as I’m sure you all know, they did just that. The Cowboys shut Kansas City out over the final quarter and a half, and scored two touchdowns themselves to seal a critical home win. Not only did the Cowboys response to adversity on Sunday mean a lot to their playoff hopes, it was also yet another indicator of how important their head coach really is.
This team fights for Jason Garrett.
Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo discussed Garrett’s importance to the Cowboys on the broadcast, saying that Garrett isn’t necessarily a scheme guy, he is a big picture and “culture” coach.
Some took this statement as a dig on Jason Garrett, inferring that he was calling him a “cheerleader” in order to fit their own clapper-narrative. But for those who have played, coached, or been around football at all before, they know how important it is for their head coach to set this culture.
All head coaches delegate. Great head coaches delegate to the right people.
While it can be argued whether Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli are the “right” people, the Cowboys record since 2014 cannot be denied. When this team has a healthy quarterback, only the New England Patriots have been better.
Jason Garrett wasn’t the greatest play caller, and there certainly are coaches who are better in terms of game-day operations and decisions. But the vast majority of an NFL head coach’s job doesn’t occur on game-day. It is about the week of preparation, and about maintaining the culture and big picture operations of the team.
Whether you agree with his decision making often or never at all, there is simply no denying that the Dallas Cowboys fight for Jason Garrett. They respect Jason Garrett, and they have bought into what Jason Garrett is preaching.
Of course, he is not immune from criticism, but I certainly believe he is better at his job than most coaches in this league.