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.
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.
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?