When you’re the coach of America’s most popular sports team, you can count on being the most ridiculously scrutinized coach in every way possible. Every single thing he says, does; places he goes, people will have something to say about it. Jason Garrett should be use to it by now, so to see people say he’s not a good coach is one thing, but to say he’s one of the worst in the league… Really?
Jason Garrett has been the head coach since the midway point of the 2010 season, after taking over for Wade Phillips. JG had never been a head coach before – as most of you know – and since 2010 his actions and lack thereof have made many people scratch their heads and wonder ‘what the heck is this guy doing?‘
I’ll be the first one to admit it – I’ve wondered about this guy.
Remember the Ravens game in 2012? What about the Cardinals game where he iced his own kicker and lost the game. That’s just two samples of more than a few, and he deserved the flack he caught from those mistakes.
Although he’s made mistakes, is he really one of the worst coaches in the NFL?
Mike Sando from ESPN took a poll with 30 NFL insiders (ESPN Insider members can find a link to the original piece on DallasNews.com’s article) and revealed that Garrett was viewed as one of the worst head coaches in the league – #30 out of 32 to be exact. If this poll was given to fans, okay, I’d expect that kind of result. But to give this poll to people who get paid to be NFL insiders and still get those results? Folks, that’s comical, really it is.
Please understand that I’ve used some colorful words before and after Jason Garrett’s name. Words that we teach our children to never say and words our mothers somehow never failed to understand as, “I’ll have a bar of soap, please.”
So I’m not going to sit here and say JG is the best head coach in this league, but I’m certainly not saying he is one of the worst coaches either.
I’ve been watching football since I was about five years old, and really started studying the game at the age of 8, so that’s 37 years of watching this wonderful game. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly more than a few times. I’d like to think I know a thing or two about it. In saying that, there is no way that Jason Garrett is one of the worst coaches in the National Football League.
Now some of you agree with that poll, and that’s fine. I understand. I get it. You look at the bottom line, wins and losses, right? And there’s nothing wrong with looking at it like that. It’s just that things are never as black and white as they seem.
Jason Garrett has led this team to three consecutive 8-8 seasons; can’t get more mediocre than that. Now is Jason Garrett solely responsible for that? No, he’s not. Does he have a hand in it? Yes, of course he does.
But let’s take a gander at some of the things that have happened that Jason Garrett has to deal with.
Take a look at the 2010 roster, when Garrett took over.
- An aging offensive line that was on their last leg.
- A 2009 draft class that was an absolute joke.
- A defensive scheme everyone had figured out.
- Not to mention players who should have retired already or shouldn’t have even been on the team in the first place.
So he basically inherited a hot mess. Now, take a look at the 2011 roster.
- You still see an older player here or there, but you should start to notice a lot of the players who shouldn’t have been on the team to begin with are starting to disappear.
- But still, this roster had holes on the offensive line, defensive line, at safety and at corner.
- And to top it all off, he had to deal with a huge number of injuries.
However, in week 17 of the 2011 season, the Cowboys still had a chance to win the NFC East and get into the playoffs.
Now go look at the 2012 roster and 2013 roster. You see not only new players, but you see new players with talent. But you should also see the number of guys the team had to bring in because of so many injuries in 2012 and 2013. But again, he was able to lead the team into week 17 of both seasons with a chance to win the division and get in the playoffs.
People are upset that this team didn’t do better because of all the so-called talent the Cowboys have had.
But I ask you to really look hard at those rosters. Yes, you see some good skill-position players but look on the defensive line and in the secondary. Heck, look at the offensive line during that time. Yeah we had Tyron Smith, but who else was there before Travis Frederick last season? A mess, that’s what was there.
Jason Garrett, for all the faults he has, was still able to get the most out of each team, each season, to where they had a chance to make the tournament. No matter the injuries or for rebuilding the roster, he was able to get this team to a point where they had a chance.
People are angry about the .500 records and I laugh at that because I think this team was lucky to get 8, thanks to injuries and a lack of talent.
Besides a roster that was declining and the countless number of injuries, he’s had to deal with Jerry Jones. I love Jerry but let’s be honest – Jerry has made some horrible choices on players, and on how he wants this team run. Not to mention all the eye rolling comments that come out of his mouth, especially as of late.
Now you tell me, is a coach that’s had to rebuild his roster, overcome dozens of injuries – not just to starters mind you, but 2nd and 3rd string players as well – put up with an owner some believe is in dire need of institutionalization, and somehow leads this team to the brink of the playoffs each of the last three seasons; is he really one of the worst coaches in the league?
I think you all know the answer to that. Follow me on Twitter (@bleatherman2011)