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Jason Garrett: One of the worst Head Coaches in the NFL?

Brian Leatherman

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Cowboys Blog - Jason Garrett: One of the worst Head Coaches in the NFL?

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)

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Brian has been a football junkie from the time he was 5 years old. He lives, eats and breathes the game. Brian is a college graduate living in the south who loves his faith, his family, and his Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts

Jess Haynie

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Matt Eberflus, Sean Lee

Multiple sources are reporting Matt Eberflus — who has been the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys — will leave to join the Indianapolis Colts as the new defensive coordinator. Eberflus has been with Dallas since 2011, having joined Rob Ryan’s staff when Ryan become the coordinator for the Cowboys’ defense.

He has been the linebackers coach during his entire Dallas tenure and was also named passing game coordinator in 2016.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

With Josh McDaniels ticketed for the #Colts, former #Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus is expected to come along as defensive coordinator, I’m told. Lot of parts falling in place now.

If not the Colts, some thought Matt Eberflus might end up replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Either way, it does not appear Dallas could have kept him around while Rod Marinelli remains in his current position.

Eberflus’ work in Dallas speaks for itself, and primarily through LB Sean Lee.

He has been Lee’s position coach for all but his rookie season, and in that time Lee has been one of the top defensive players in all of football.

Beyond Lee, Eberflus has also been able to get quality play out of mid-round picks like Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. We also saw Jaylon Smith make significant progress this season.

Given Matt Eberflus has never worked with Josh McDaniels before, the fact he was on the Colts’ radar says a lot.

Make no mistake; the Cowboys lost a good one here.

Don’t panic, however. Coach Marinelli has cast a very wide net during his time in the NFL and there are a lot of potential guys, some with plenty of experience, that Dallas might look to.

It’s entirely possible that Eberflus’ replacement will be someone who Marinelli spends 2018 grooming to take over as the defensive coordinator.

Still, of all the coaching changes so far for Dallas, this one hurts most.

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander.

Alex Marvez on Twitter

Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach

Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003.

The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation.

Joey Ickes on Twitter

Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired.

The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season.

Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys.

Goodberry on Twitter

Pretty bad https://t.co/fysjZqCQ6l

Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units.

We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out.

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Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job

Sean Martin

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Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates For Cowboys Vacant OL Coach Job 1

By keeping all three top coaches (Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, and Rod Marinelli) in place for 2018, there isn’t a Dallas Cowboys coaching hire that feels like they “must” get it right to contend next season. This is how it should be.

Producing nine wins, despite missing key players throughout the season, the Cowboys are changing things up at the position coach level to hopefully introduce new ideas and give the talent on this team a better chance at sustained success.

One coaching vacancy that needs to be filled by the right guy above any else is on the offensive line, where things haven’t been the same since the great Bill Callahan departed.

Frank Pollack took his place, and now finds himself with the Cincinnati Bengals after not being retained by Dallas this offseason.

Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates For Cowboys Vacant OL Coach Job

Tom Cable (Stephen Brashear / Getty Images)

The first name that was thrown around in consideration for the Cowboys job was Tom Cable, which sent a panic throughout Cowboys Nation before Cable decided to sign with John Gruden and the Raiders.

Cable had been coaching the Seahawks’ OL, a position that franchise has not valued in some time, and struggled to develop any talent in protection of their franchise QB Russell Wilson.

Now, two new names have emerged as candidates to coach the likes of two-time 1st Team All-Pro LT Tyron Smith, 1st Team All-Pro C Travis Frederick, and two-time 1st Team All-Pro RG Zack Martin.

Mike Solari and Paul Alexander

Paul Alexander has already met with the Dallas Cowboys, looking for work after 23 seasons with the Bengals. During this time, Alexander served as Marvin Lewis’ assistant head coach, in addition to his duties as their OL coach.

Judging on reactions out of Cincinnati to Alexander’s departure, the Bengals offensive line regressed under him in 2017, warranting change from a franchise that is as reluctant as any to move on from coaches.

Goodberry on Twitter

Paul Alexander better be gone

Most recently, Mike Solari has served as the offensive line coach for the New York Giants — far from a renowned unit around the NFL lately. He does have previous experience with the Cowboys, having served as an assistant OL and special teams coach here from 1987-88.

From 2006-07, Solari did reach the rank of offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, which shows the level of respect that the 30-year NFL coaching veteran has earned.

He will be the Dallas Cowboys’ next interview for their open OL coach position.

Cowboys at Raiders: La'el Collins Faces Toughest Test Yet In Khalil Mack 1

Dallas Cowboys RT La’el Collins, RG Zack Martin

Depth at tackle, a long-term answer at left guard, and an extension for Zack Martin are among the questions facing the Cowboys offensive line moving forward. Whoever is in charge of keeping this unit up to standard in 2018 though, may hold the keys to getting the entirety of the Cowboys’ program back on track.

Whether it’s Alexander, Solari, or another outside candidate yet to emerge, Inside The Star will keep you updated on the Cowboys’ ongoing coaching search.

Tell us what you think about “Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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