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Jerry Jones “Absolutely Not” Considering Cowboys Coaching Changes

Sean Martin

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With yesterday’s 28-6 Thanksgiving loss to the LA Chargers, Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett put his name alongside the legendary Tom Landry for all the wrong reasons. Becoming the first Cowboys coach to lose three straight games by 20 or more points at the helm of America’s Team since Landry, a price is going to have to be paid somewhere in Dallas as their 2017 season sits at 5-6 and in need of saving.

The belief that any player – on offense or defense – or coach can turn this around is understandably low however.

Jerry Jones felt the need to address his team in the locker room immediately following another collapse by the Cowboys sans Ezekiel Elliott or Sean Lee last night. All signs point to this talk by Jones remaining positive and inspirational for a team that plays yet again in seven days.

Despite the desperate nature of everything surrounding football in Dallas right now, Jones left the locker room and presented the waiting media with a clear message regarding the NFL’s reigning Coach of the Year.

Jones is “absolutely not” considering firing Head Coach Jason Garrett at this time.

David Helman on Twitter

Jerry Jones was asked after leaving the Cowboys’ locker room if his coaching position needed to be re-evaluated after tonight: His answer: “Absolutely not.” #cowboyswire

Jones has been a supporter of Garrett for a long time, even prior to Jason stepping up from Offensive Coordinator (where he was viewed as a HC in waiting) to Head Coach following Wade Phillips’ firing in 2010.

Jerry has seen Jason Garrett rebuild an aging roster into a stable one with separate starting quarterbacks winning NFC East titles under his leadership. From this perspective, without even including the full range of failures that Jones has witnessed from atop the Cowboys, this team’s current ineptitude in functioning without a handful of star players is barely a blip on the radar.

There is a sense though that Garrett along with Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan and Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli have collectively hit their ceiling as the top coaches here.

Marinelli’s defense may have players full of promise, but his scheme and ability to develop talent leaves a lot to be desired.

Linehan’s once-dynamic offense has failed to crack just ten points without Zeke Elliott.

Playing six games without Ezekiel Elliott this late in the season was never going to be easy, but starting off this current stretch of losses with that week 10 beat down in Atlanta only foreshadowed the struggles that would lie ahead.

It feels safe to say that, if noncompetitive and uninspiring losses continue, somebody in power with the Cowboys is going to have to pay for it. Cases can be made for any possible combination of a new play caller on offense or defense, or even a new Head Coach, to lead the team in 2018.

Jerry Jones "Absolutely Not" Considering Cowboys Coaching Changes 1

(Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

For the moment though, with fans pouring for the exits to enjoy what was left of a Thanksgiving lacking subsistence from the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett is safe as the coach of the Cowboys.

It will be up to him to once again motivate his group out of tough times into a playoff spot that feels painfully dangled in front of the faces of Cowboys Nation like that final slice of pumpkin pie from last night. It’s still there, but for how much longer – and do we really want it to be in the first place?

Tell us what you think about “Jerry Jones “Absolutely Not” Considering Cowboys Coaching Changes” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we’re not how you think we are. Host of “Upon Further Review” on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

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13 Comments
  • Jesse Pope

    Players giving up on plays, not tackling has got nothing to do with the absence of Ezekiel Elliot and LB Sean Lee. C’MON now. Garrett has lost this team. He has no control whatsoever so coach Jones has to step in. “F” this b.s. I am done. I will tune in when Jerry dies and the team finally has real hope again.

  • Hector Espindola

    There will be changes if JJ recognizes that Zeke masks all problems on offense and that Lee does the same on defensive. If this is not the case, JJ’s “assessment” will be a combination of adverse situations not attributable to the coaches and maybe recognizing a lack of better bench. I do not see the departure of Garrett or Linehan in the medium run.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      The problem that comes up when you assess that your team is as thin as you mention (incapable without 21 or 50 on the field) is that Jerry is still very much part of the roster build – but trusts Garrett and Marinelli a ton too in finding these players.

      • Hector Espindola

        Once again right Sean, seems then it’s a vicious circle until JJ gives the reins 100% to Stephen and then we might see a change.

  • Jorge Gonzalez

    honestly these words of JJ in nothing help, he should press the HC mainly to JG that looks very comfortable week after week losing by more than 20 pts, honestly I thought that DAK would be an elite marshal but apparently it is getting big team it is not possible that I can not have a good series without having ZEKE from there the problem comes the players do not feel pressured even look at the tackles that the defense, players without soul and desire, this is not dallas and the fault is JJ for allowing me to continue to the front JG …

  • dallas1966

    Jerry Jones arrogantly believes that his hand picked head coach Jason Garrett will eventually become the next Tom Landry of his generation..

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      This will obviously never happen, but I do believe there is some merit to keeping Garrett as a familiar face should you shake up the coordinator positions. The best coaches have always been praised for allowing their coordinators to work and have the trust of their HC, and this has been said about Garrett.

  • Russ_Te

    – absolutely not” considering firing Head Coach Jason Garrett at this time –

    If we have to watch the Atlanta game again for the 4th week in a row, Garrett could right now be in his last 7 days as Cowboys HC

    After the Chargers game, there is no defending the inability to adjust on offense. Garrett had the same problem in Denver. Never changed out of what their defense had stopped cold in the first quarter.

    Enough. I want him out.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Russ, thank you for reading as always. My question for you is this – do you want Garrett out merely to see someone pay for the recent struggles, or would you rather see Scott Linehan out based on the root of your team analysis (offensive adjustments)?

      • Russ_Te

        No, it’s to implement a fix not to retaliate… ;^)

        Garrett owns the suck on offense at least as much as Linehan, since OC was his job before HC, and any HC can & should over-rule when it’s the OC or DC screwing the team up.

        So I see no fix by just releasing Linehan. It’s possible, but it’s kept in house so nobody can know – that Linehan has wanted change like Butler & Gathers, that Garrett won’t go to.

        So, some chance of change if Linehan were promoted to HC. None if Garrett stays.

        It’s a good next column – who is / should be on deck for HC?

        • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

          Appreciate the column ideas 🙂

      • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com Cowboysdude

        Why would you want to keep a Coach that’s had 7 years to win and hasn’t? 7 Years to improve and hasn’t? AND shows no signs of improving period. Time to move on.

  • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com Cowboysdude

    Apparently losing fans doesn’t seem to bother him but yet this team is……numbers are down.. and now they got bumped out of a prime time spot..they got flexed. THAT should make people stand up and notice that this team is losing viewers……time for the puppet to go and for Jerry to get out of the way.

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La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

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Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys headed to New York a couple of days ago with a mission: survive a potential trap game versus a 2-10 New York Giants team. Despite not getting most of the help they needed from other teams around the league, at least Dallas was able to do the job they could control.

Through three quarters, the Cowboys struggled a lot. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when they decided to have a touchdown party, outscoring the Giants 20-0 in the final eight minutes of the game.

What did we learn from the Cowboys’ seventh win of the season? Here is this week’s edition of Takeaway Tuesday! 

Dak Prescott Bounced Back

Although the Cowboys are a team that’s barely breathing in the playoff race, the truth is there’re a lot of ways that Dak has improved as a QB. It’s easy to look at a team lose football games and blame the QB without hesitating. That’s been the case most of the season.

It’s fair to say that Prescott hadn’t had an awesome game in a long time, though. But this time, he did just that.

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

Dak Prescott needed a performance like this one. He threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns last Sunday. He made some key throws and key reads during the game and managed to beat the Giants’ blitz with ease. Glad to see you hush the haters, 4.

Certainly a good thing to see when you need to go 3-0 in order to stay in the postseason conversation.

Concerns Around Dez Bryant Continue to Increase

Listen, I love Dez Bryant. He’s been one of my favorite players to ever watch. But at some point, you have to start admitting there is a problem. Yes, Dez Bryant has been struggling this season. Whether you want to blame Dak or Dez about it, it’s fair. I think they both are to blame.

The thing about Dez is that he can have quite a few bad plays and makes you forget about it when he  does something awesome. A perfect example of this is his 50-yard TD against the Giants last Sunday. It came at a perfect moment, but he had dropped some easy balls earlier in the game.

Dez – Streamable

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Dez is getting paid like an elite WR, and despite some great moments on the field, he’s been having a lot of bad ones lately. If you have a $70M contract, you can’t frequently drop passes like that.

It may be about chemistry with his new QB, it may be about age, or it may be just about a couple of bad years for the guy. Whatever it is, as much as we hate to say it, Dez isn’t anywhere close to the “top receivers” conversation this year.

Sean Lee Proved to be Invaluable Once Again

Less Is More For Sean Lee And Cowboys' LBs?I’m constantly amazed by the difference the Cowboys’ veteran linebacker makes when he’s on the field. In his heroic return against the Giants, he finished the day with 18 total tackles, 10 of which were solo. With Sean Lee on the field, this defense has been able to be a headache for opposing offenses.

Sean Lee could easily be this team’s MVP. For Cowboys Nation, it’s been a season of constantly missing football players in Dallas. Out of everyone, I think Sean Lee is the player we missed the most. Including Ezekiel Elliott.

This defense transforms into a very capable one with Lee around. The Cowboys need Zeke back if they want to have success in their hunt for the playoffs, but without Lee, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis Are Still Killing It

Coming into this game, one of the biggest question marks was the cornerback position for Dallas. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis were going to get the start, and there’s always uncertainty around rookies going up against a QB like Eli Manning.

lewis – Streamable

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Look at that coverage by Jourdan Lewis. Look at him turn his head around when the ball’s coming. The way this secondary will grow is exciting to think about. The Cowboys have something special in these two guys. They’ll make for an amazing CB duo for years to come, and I’m excited about what they bring to the table.

Chidobe Awuzie has played the last two games, and he’s been very impressive. Throughout the entire game, his converge was pretty impressive. Eli only targeted him 5 times in the ballgame and was able to complete just two passes against him.

Sean Lee ended up with the interception late in the fourth quarter, but it was perfectly set up by Chidobe Awuzie.

Awuzie – Streamable

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It was a very fun fourth quarter for the Dallas Cowboys, and even though it looks difficult… this football team’s playoff hopes are still alive. Jason Garrett must keep this team focused in the Oakland Raiders for now, though.

Hope dies last, Cowboys Nation. Keep your head up.

Tell me what you think about “Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Dallas Cowboys

Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future

Sean Martin

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Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future 1

The New York Giants are not a good football team, but the Dallas Cowboys 30-10 win over the Giants in Eli Manning’s return to action left Cowboys Nation with plenty to be excited about as the team improved to 7-6.

In a stacked NFC, the Cowboys unfortunately did not get much help from scores elsewhere around the league Sunday, and the momentum they’ve built with two straight wins ahead of Ezekiel Elliott‘s return in week 16 has done little to improve their chances of reaching the playoffs.

The entire NFC East in 2017 has truly epitomized how quickly things can improve or fall apart in this league, as the Eagles clinching the title came at the cost of their franchise QB Carson Wentz – tearing his ACL to end his season.

Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys Defense?

Dallas Cowboys’ Jourdan Lewis (27), Chidobe Awuzie (33) and Xavier Woods (25) warm ups before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Through all of this, including my own criticism of Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli, I can’t help but get excited about the potential this young Dallas defense is showing. The Cowboys got back in the win column two weeks ago against the Redskins, shuffling their secondary with great results.

Adding Sean Lee back to this winning formula against the Giants brought things even further into focus for the Cowboys defense though. Schematically, they were cohesive through all three levels. The longest play the Giants hit on was a 35-yard completion (against the blitz) to Evan Engram – one of their lone remaining offensive threats.

When the Cowboys dropped three straight games in weeks 10-12, the defense was desperate for Dak Prescott and the offense to play up to their potential. Prescott’s career day at MetLife Stadium was perhaps the most unsurprising development from this week, as the Cowboys found out early in this season that Prescott is in fact their franchise QB, and soon the complimentary performance turned in by this scrappy defense will be just as regularly expected.

Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys' Defense?

Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis continue to live up to their draft status, two lengthy defenders with ball skills that have not been seen in the Cowboys secondary for some time. Sixth round pick Xavier Woods has proved valuable at every spot these coaches play him at, contributing at Nickel CB against the Giants’ Sterling Shepard and looking comfortable.

Jeff Heath came up with an interception on what may have been Eli Manning’s last pass as a Giant against the Cowboys, and played well throughout the afternoon in his rotational role alongside Byron Jones.

At linebacker, Sean Lee’s 18 tackles with an interception only further highlighted how well Anthony Hitchens has played at the other primary LB spot. I wrote in my immediate post game Sean’s Scout that I also thought Jaylon Smith could have been utilized more in this game, but the fact that he’s played in 13 straight games for the Cowboys without additional injuries is incredible enough.

Simply put, the biggest reason the Cowboys have salvaged a shot at contending for the playoffs this season is because they’ve found a way to get back to playing complimentary football on offense and defense – even with some key absences on both sides of the ball.

The game plan is a proven one. When the Cowboys run the ball, control the clock, and allow their defense to play from ahead against hurried, one-dimensional offenses they can beat anyone.

Whether or not that means 10 wins to close this roller coaster of a season – good enough for the playoffs or not – the Cowboys are doing well to prove they’ll have staying power in the NFC for years to come.

This fate was very debatable a few weeks ago, and any team that commits to turning over their defense as much as the Cowboys did in one offseason should expect something of a regression, but the Cowboys’ future is now being written in front of us by young stars on offense and defense.

Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future

Getting more than three remaining kickoffs for guys like Awuzie, Lewis, Woods, Jaylon Smith, and Lewis Neal would certainly be ideal for the end of this season. Should the Cowboys miss out on the playoffs due to circumstances past their control though, we can all spend a few months getting very excited about what these defenders will have to say about taking matters into their own hands at the very next possible opportunity.

Tell us what you think about “Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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