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Jason Garrett’s Cowboys Tenure is About to Come Full Circle

This Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Redskins could, and probably will, be Jason Garrett’s last game as Dallas’ head coach. There is a strong possibility that the Cowboys will finish the season 8-8 and narrowly miss the playoffs, and that would be a fitting end to Garrett’s coaching tenure. It would bring things full circle from how his head coaching career began.

From 2011-2013, Garrett’s first full seasons as Cowboys head coach, Dallas finished each year with an 8-8 record. The general theme of blowing opportunities to win the NFC East or qualify for a wild card spot with bad December losses was constant during those seasons.

Things picked up from there. The Cowboys went 12-4 in 2014 and were eliminated from the playoffs in the infamous “Dez caught it” game in Green Bay. But even in defeat, there’s was the feeling that Garrett’s Cowboys had finally come through a rebuilding phase and would now be a consistent threat in the NFC.

We’ve seen how things unfolded. Romo’s injury wrecked the 2015 season, then we had the arrival of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in 2016. Then came the issues with Zeke’s suspension in 2017, then the Amari Cooper trade last season. It’s been a period of highs and lows for a while now.

As we get ready to close out 2019, Dallas sits at 7-8 with a home game against woeful Washington. Despite last week’s letdown loss in Philadelphia, the Cowboys could still get into the playoffs by beating the Redskins and having the Eagles drop their finale in New York.

The Eagles have been up and down enough this year that anything could still happen. But if the favored teams handle their business this week, Philadelphia will be NFC East Champions and playing next week in the wild card round. The Cowboys’ season will be over.

Another 8-8 finish, another year of barely missing the playoffs; it will be the full circle finish to Jason Garrett’s time with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jason Garrett
Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett

The Cowboys’ front office has made it clear that the 2019 season would need to be an impressive one for Garrett to get a new contract. His current deal is up after the year and Jason coached this year in “lame duck” status.

Even if Dallas winds up making the tournament, it’s hard to see them as anything but an easy matchup for some superior NFC Team. Outside of their victory in Week 15 over the Rams, the Cowboys have come up short against any other quality opponent they’ve faced.

Barring the most Disney-worthy outcome imaginable this is probably Garrett’s last regular-season game with the Cowboys. Assuming the Eagles beat the Giants, he could easily be fired on Black Monday next week.

For my money, Jason Garrett is not a bad football coach. With the right coordinators behind him, I think Jason could coach a team to the Super Bowl one day. He has the leadership and motivating ability to do so.

But Garrett is no longer the right coach for the Dallas Cowboys.

Jason’s not a strong enough personality to deal with Jerry Jones above him or incompetence below him. The Cowboys need almost a full overhaul at this point of their coaching staff and Garrett needs to go with them; he can’t handle that much change.

Much like those 2011-2013 seasons with Tony Romo at the helm, 2019 appears to be ending with crushing disappointment despite great play from Dak Prescott. Garrett’s tenure will be defined by unmet expectations and the perceived wasting of talented players.

It’s been a dismal decade, and only the most incredible of endings could save Jason Garrett now. But if the last nine seasons have taught us anything, Garrett isn’t a guy who pulls off the incredible.

What do you think?

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Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. I hope you are correct in your assessment. I still believe Jones is more interested in finding a way to keep Garrett than actually winning ballgames. I am so disappointed in this team that after 44 years of being a die hard fan, I am starting to find other things to do on Sundays. Sad times being a Cowboys fan.

  2. I’m a die hard Cowboys fan, it’s time for a new head coach. Garrett seems uninspired on the sidelines. Also I think it’s time for Jerry to hire a GM!!!!!

  3. I disagree that Garrett could be a Super Bowl head coach. If you recall, he was both offensive coordinator and head coach when he was first head coach in Dallas. But his poor, game-day decisions resulted in Jones making him give up offensive play calling, figuring that two jobs were too much for him. However, his questionable game day decisions have continued, and I think it is clear Jones made him give up the wrong job. He could be a competent offensive coordinator–but he is not great head coaching material.

  4. As a die hard fan for 52 years, and a previous supporter of Garrett, a complete coaching change is needed. A couple of instances I noticed. Can’t recall the exact game, maybe 3-4 games ago, Prescott passed for a TD. As he came to the sidelines, Garrett reached to shake his hand and Prescott never even looked his way. I rewound it several times. Same result. Another observation, the Offense Coordinator, an Ivy League graduate from Penn, 9 years as QB Coach and other various coaching positions-I think about our chosen Play Caller! FIRE ALL and Jones hire a GM (never gonna happen) and hire Ron Rivera!

  5. Ironic, that the Cowboys are facing an historical nemesis in the Redskins, a toothless tiger these days owned by a dark lord of Sith. I remember the days of Tom Landry walking the sidelines in his jacket, tie and hat. When Landry was fired, the Redskins hosted him to a dinner to honor a worthy opponent. I doubt Garrett will get such a send off or ending, but he will probably land an HC position with a desperately needy team at that position.

  6. I have been a fan since 1972. The Cowboys ownership is the issue. Since Jerry Jones as taken over, we have had one coach that was a leader and got respect. Jimmy Johnson was a leader and pushed people to excellence. Jerry Jones, got in the way of professionalism. Since then, Jerry has a proven track record showing that he or his sons are not worthy of the GM job. My humble opinion, Jerry should stay on the Marketing side, that is his strengths. Coaching from a booth or his office has taken away the “Dominance of America’s Team”. We need a Head Coach demands success, drive, passion and motivation. Over the past 6 weeks, it has been clear we don’t have the respect from the players. I believe Michael Bennett said it best, we are not playing for the passion of the games we are playing for the biggest contract.
    My humble opinion, I used to be a follower of Dak Prescott his rookie year, hence he is not. We should let him shop the market and move on. He is not worth no more than $10 Million a season. Stats are important, remember Tony Romo? How many Superbowl’s did we win with him at quarterback? My point is money is important, however look at this season? Elliot, lets see what he is worth next year? Marcus Lawrence is a leader, look at that gentleman run around thew field and give everything he can when he is out there.

  7. Well, Jason will get what he dished out, and not a moment to soon. He wanted full control and stabbed Romo in the back, well with Romo and that 2016 team they could have won it all. But he wanted to pull the strings to his QB poppet, Mr dump off Dak, that not only couldn’t read defenses, but couldn’t hit the side of a barn with his inaccuracies. Jerry couldn’t bring him self to say it, other than he felt he let Romo down. Garrett is not fit to lead America’s team. Go get a real head coach!

  8. Great article. I feel like the locker room is lost. Time to move on from all the coaches & a player shake up is needed. Personally I would love to trade an offensive lineman. Trading one of them would bring value back & free up cap space.

  9. It’s not only come circle for coach, but it’s also clear that this ownership has run its course.

    Fans should do their best to fire the owner, perhaps the only way is to stop being a fan until there is true change.

    This organization is worse now than in the late 80’s.

    It’s time to stop spoiling this ownership and thus this organization. Imagine nobody attending that stadium?

    While I won’t be a fan of any other NFL franchise, I do have other sporting options in Dallas that are far superior to the Cowboys.

    Looking forward to investing in the Mavs, Stars, Rangers and FC.

  10. I really don’t believe that firing Jason Garrett Is the answer Dak Prescott has proven time and time again he cannot step up when the game is on the line it’s not the head coach that is not able to complete the pass to the receivers and running backs

    • Dak is a good QB. He just had some rough injuries to deal with lately. Got to admire how he played through it, unlike some other QBs.

  11. Good grief!…is there any debate as to how mediocre Jason “It’s a Process” Garrett is? The only question that should recur over and over again with any Dallas Cowboy fan is how arrogant, condescending and downright ignorant Jerry Jones is a General Manager. One good decision in 30 years that he managed to mess up….Jimmy Johnson.

  12. 23 years, 7 different coaches, and the deepest the Cowboys have gone in any year’s playoffs is winning a wild card game 4 times. Will changing coaches help? Or quarterbacks? Or running backs? Or receivers? Or ??? Historically, none of those changes have made a big difference. There is something wrong with this organization’s culture. Maybe it IS Jerry. But you can’t force him to sell. It’s his sandbox. And an entire generation has now grown up without a championship caliber team. America’s Team? Not so much anymore.

  13. I’ve been a Cowboys fan since ’76. America’s Team Needs Change in management, coaching, and players attitudes.
    All of them (owner/gm, coaches, & players) “talk the talk” but Never “walk the walk”, the way America’sTeam did back in the early to mid 90’s.
    First, the owner / GM Jerry Jones needs to step aside and hire a Real GM. Simply put, he’s too controlling.
    Secondly, Jason Garrett and the entire coaching staff need to be fired. Simply put ,they can’t coach.
    Thirdly, the players need to play up to their talents Every game. Simply put, they don’t come to play Every game.
    And even though this has been a disappointing season,
    I believe there is a Superbowl in the near future.
    I’m a Cowboys fan…for life.

  14. Hire a new coach AND a general manager. LET THEM DO THEIR JOBS. Money is obviously not a motivator…..less money to those who ARE NOT EARNING their pay might motivate some to excel. The rest can go home.
    .
    ..

  15. This group looked lost. Your team’s attitude tends to reflect your coach’s attitude, and in this case that was an attitude of giving up and looking lost. Where was the fight????

  16. This was the most frustrating team I have ever had to root for. The inconsistency was incredibly frustrating, and all of that talent going 8-8 (probably) just seems like an enormous waste.

  17. Great play from Dak Prescott? Those are inflated numbers against poor defenses or when playing from behind and being forced to throw the ball to catch up. Aside from the Rams game, where the Cowboys were able to establish the run early and often, what good team did Dak beat with his great play? He rarely hits a receiver in stride, reducing YAC and big play opportunities. Against the Eagles you could blame the shoulder injury or lack of practice during the week for his inaccuracy, but how can you explain Dak’s inability to see the field? He routinely forced passes into coverage or settled for check downs while receivers were getting wide open downfield for potentially huge gains, if not touchdowns. Dak Is surrounded with a lot of talent. Every year there was a new piece to the puzzle. Last year it was the trade for Cooper because they didn’t have a number 1 receiver. Who has Carson Wentz been throwing to the last three games, each of which he has passed for over 300 yards? Wentz put that banged up team on his back and carried them to victory. So now Garrett will be gone and Dak is out of excuses. To borrow a line from my brother… Only in Dallas does intangibles equate with success… 24 years of mediocrity and counting… Jerry.

  18. Dak is good and understands the game, can read defenses, and more often than not delivers the ball. He can run with it too and isn’t afraid to go head-to-head with a defender. Put Dak on a team that can catch the ball, run the ball, and protect the QB and open holes for the QB to run and Dak could go all the way. He’s a good QB period. The coach and coordinators have no vision. Elliot is an overpaid flop. I’ll tell you this, I bet NY Giants would have paid big money for Dak, I bet AZ Cardinals would pay him big bucks, I bet a lot of teams out there would love to have Dak. For the rest of you, suit up and go out on the field and compete. No?…. didn’t think so.

    • Dak can read defenses? What quality defense has he beaten this year? Again, aside from the Rams game when the running game was established and the defense was guessing what was coming next, where is his signature win against a good defense? Cowboys have one of the best lines in the game. They have one of the best running backs in the game and really good set of receivers. This offense has weapons that other QBs envy. Dak shouldn’t have to run the ball if he could make the throws. The problem with Dallas is in the QB position. Slow starts, poor adjustments and inaccuracy are all on him. Giants have David Jones who is looking pretty good. Let Arizona take Dak, maybe we could package the compensation pick for a deal to move up in the draft. Lastly I would think all of us are armchair quarterbacks for a reason. To challenge us to suit up and compete is absurd, unless you are Dak operating a burner account…

  19. Jason Garrett has never been great at anything related to football, yet was consistently and undeservedly promoted by Jerry Jones in direct contravention with the abject mediocrity he delivered on the field. His overly-simplistic and completely outdated football philosophies have caused the Cowboys’ inept offensive play calling and vanilla defenses to become the laughing stock of the entire league. I believe with all my heart that this team has NEVER won a single game that could be attributed to superior coaching.

    I’ve been screaming since 2012 that Garrett is a historically terrible coach, and that his tenure , however long it is imposed onto this loyal fan base, will be remembered as the darkest era in Dallas Cowboy history.

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