Last night may have been the lowest point, so far, in the relationship between Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and Head Coach Jason Garrett. Following Dallas' 13-9 loss to the New England Patriots, Jones lambasted the team's coaching and showed frustration like he never has since Garrett became coach in 2010.
Jerry didn't just make one comment, two, or even five. It was a full-scale rant; a public airing of grievances about the way his team is being coached and the lack of results from what he sees as a talented roster.
As the following collection of tweets from Dallas media shows, Mr. Jones wasn't pulling any punches.
Jerry Jones: “I don't think there's a game where a coaching staff couldn't do better. I don't like that we've got so many as I'm standing here tonight.”
Jerry Jones on Dallas' special teams problems: "To me, special teams is 100 percent coaching. It's 100 percent coaching. It's strategy. It's having players ready…Special teams is nothing but coaching. Special teams is effort. Special teams is savvy. Special teams is thinking."
How many times this season have we complained about coaching decisions? While the Cowboys players have hurt themselves with turnovers and miscues at times, or with costly and controversial penalties, it's also been a bad season for situational coaching.
Special teams play has been especially atrocious. Once a strength of the team, special teams performance has dropped steadily since Keith O'Quinn took over in 2018 after Rich Bisaccia jumped ship for the Raiders.
Two weeks ago in Minnesota, the communication breakdown between Garrett, O'Quinn, and Tavon Austin on a punt return might have cost Dallas the game. Yesterday in New England, a blocked punt and other blunders may have been the difference again.
But Jerry's frustration hardly stops with special teams. He had plenty to say about more far-reaching coaching deficiencies.
Jerry Jones: "It is a significant setback for our team. We needed this win. We needed to win against an opponent like this. We haven't had them. Consequently, we're very aware of that."
#Cowboys Jerry Jones WOW QUOTE NO. 2 from loss in #DALvsNE – ‘When we run up against an opponent that gets it together, we have a tough time coordinating how we put our offense and defense out there and have em playin' (well) at the same time.' pic.twitter.com/4u5ItywqzX
Jerry Jones: "This is very frustrating. It's frustrating just to be reminded that some of the fundamentals of football and coaching were what beat us out there today."
#Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is speaking very openly to the media tonight about ‘being outcoached,' about a ‘lack of coaching fundamentals' and about some aspects of failure being due to ‘100-percent coaching.' This is a ROAST. pic.twitter.com/8bEwBcWZYr
Jerry Jones is tired of watching his team get outclassed on the sidelines. Granted, almost any coaching staff would get shown up by Bill Belichick. But what happened yesterday speaks to the greater pattern of failure and disappointment that has existed in Dallas for some time.
The Cowboys will never win another championship, or even compete for one, if they can't start beating the top teams in football. Consistently losing crucial games that decide whether or not you make the playoffs or advance in them is the sign that a team has hit the wall.
Jason Garrett's NFC East Championships aren't good enough anymore. For while, Jerry was content with a coach who could dominate the division and give Dallas a consistent shot at making the tournament. But now he sees that Garrett may have maxed out as a coach; never able to push past the “slightly above average” point and make something special happen.
Jerry Jones finishes with this: “With the makeup of this team, I shouldn't be this frustrated.”
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) November 25, 2019
Aye, there's the rub.
Jerry Jones is now talking as the General Manager, frustrated with what Jason Garrett and the coaching staff is doing with the roster he and his team assembled. And if you go back to the days of Jimmy Johnson and Jerry's longstanding bitterness over who got credit for building the Cowboys' dynasty of the 1990s, then you can see why his frustration has reached a boiling point.
Jerry wants a Super Bowl ring that isn't attached to Jimmy Johnson. He already suffered the lost opportunities of the Tony Romo Era and his tolerance for failure appears to be at a breaking point.
With Dak Prescott proving he's one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL this season, Jones is ready to go all-in on this roster. And if Jason Garrett doesn't do something quickly to convince Jerry that he's a coach who can get the job done, regime change is coming to the Cowboys very quickly.
If it wasn't already official that Garrett was coaching for his life, last night confirmed it.