Process, a word that has been regularly used by Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett. As he enters year 10 (9th full season) the patience from the fans is starting to run out.
The Dallas Cowboys finished the 2018 season 10-6 and won the NFC East for the third time in five years, but it also ended without Super Bowl glory for the 23rd straight year. A big reason is the lack of in-game adjustments from Garrett and the coaching staff, a fatal flaw to have from the leader of your franchise. The Rams ran for 273 yards (170 in the first half) in their divisional round playoff win against the Cowboys. That’s a good game through the air for a quarterback, for a rushing attack it’s absurd, especially against a top 5 rushing defense.
The Rams defense gave up the most yards per rush in the NFL, and the Cowboys had the leagues leading rusher in Ezekiel Elliott, but he might as well had been in street clothes considering how ineffective he was. 47 yards on 20 attempts, ouch. The biggest game of the year and both sides of the ball are completely unprepared? Not a good look.
A big notch on the belt of Garrett is that he is a leader of men. This team believes in him and they trust him, a very important factor to have. Unfortunately, if you keep doing the same things you can’t expect different results, that’s where Garrett is in his coaching career. Winning division titles is fine if you’re coaching the Atlanta Falcons, not the Dallas Cowboys.
After almost a decade this team hasn’t gone any further than the divisional round of the playoffs, something they haven’t done since the glory days of the Triplets in the ’90s. How long is a “Process” suppose to take? Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson took over the reins in 2016 and won a Super Bowl by the next year. This is the coach of your biggest rival, who has already achieved more than Garrett has in only a third of the time.
Also, look at a guy like Rams Head Coach Sean McVay. In two years he’s already taken his team to the Super Bowl. That makes two coaches in your own conference, one in your own division, that have their franchises enjoying more success than you.
If you want the model citizen who will say and do all the right things as your head coach, Garrett is your guy. But if you’re looking for a guy that can adapt to any and all situations and have his team prepared in the biggest moments he hasn’t proven that yet. Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones made it clear after the season that Garrett would not be getting an extension, making 2019 essentially a make or break season for him. That speaks volumes considering he is one of Garrett’s biggest supporters in the building, but even the old man isn’t letting that cloud his vision. You can’t keep doing the same song and dance forever. The owner and especially this fan base have their eyes on you more than ever. A 2-3 playoff record won’t cut it. The Cowboys have to get to at least the NFC Championship Game in order for Garrett to keep his job in my opinion. If he only gets to the second round again and loses, it can’t be in the fashion the team lost in 2018, being dominated. If it’s a close battle than maybe he could still keep his job.
Ten years is a very large sample size for a head coach. What we know about Jason Garrett is that he can win you division titles and get you to the divisional round but he hasn’t proven anything past that. It’s either sink or swim in 2019 or we could see a new process start in Dallas with a new head coach.