Coach – as defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary – means an instructor or trainer, as of athletes, actors, or singers. The Thesaurus has several synonyms for coach such as drillmaster, mentor and teacher. I’m not trying to give you all an English lesson here but you get the point. A coach is put in place to instruct and there are different ways of doing it that are equally effective. I think we should take a good long look at the ways of Jason Garrett.
This will be Jason Garrett’s fifth year coaching the Cowboys as head coach. His first year in 2010 was as interim head coach where he went 5 -3 after taking over for Wade Phillips. He is in the last year of his contract and indications are that Jerry will wait and see how everything plays out before potentially giving Jason a contract extension. If the Cowboys miss the playoffs again, should Jerry dismiss Jason Garrett?
Whether you love Jason or hate him one thing can be said; he has overturned this roster and made this his team.
There are very few Cowboys players left from the Bill Parcels or Wade Phillips regimes. Isn’t overturning a roster something that coaches do to put their stamp on a team? If so, consider this particular box checked. What about fight and determination? Yes, the Cowboys have gone 8-8 the past three years but I don’t think you can find many games where they completely threw in the towel or guys quit. If there were players like that, they were dealt with privately. Consider that box checked as well.
Sure, Jason has had his blunders; freezing his kicker in Arizona and deciding to pass rather than running to secure a lead, but his team is starting to create an identity and that identity is TEAM. The stars on this team such as Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray always talk team before themselves and this is something that I believe stems from how the head coach is delivering his messages. Rehearsed or not, there doesn’t appear to be selfishness within this group and I feel this is attributable to Jason’s leadership.
Not to compare Jason Garrett to coach Bill Cowher – who had great success – but it took Bill 14 years as a head coach to win his first Super Bowl. In this day and age, a coach isn’t given that kind of time to succeed; Marvin Lewis being the exception in Cincinnati.
I think a lot of coaches aren’t afforded the right opportunity when given the job. Looking at the draft, Jason’s prints are all over the place. He’s bringing in character guys who have been captain’s in college and he is not selling his soul to have Jerry sign overpriced and over the hill free agents.
Please don’t get me wrong. He does frustrate fans, myself included, and you will hear fans all over the place asking for him to be fired. As Cowboys fans we want the best and we want to win. We love to refer to our five Super Bowl ring’s, which are now distant memories. I get that and I tend to be impatient as well, especially after a loss. However, turning a franchise around and building a team in your vision takes time.
I like a lot of things Jason has done with this team and I know that winning and post-season wins are what he may need to keep his job. If he does not return next year I hope they find someone who is willing to do it the right way and continue what Jason has started.
To overturn this thing and start again from scratch is something this fan doesn’t want to see and, quite frankly, can’t be done on a short-term contract.