Bill Belichick and Ron Rivera coaching this weekend should give you a look at the reasoning behind why sticking with Jason Garrett makes sense.
Belichick's story is pretty well known. He failed massively in Cleveland and it led to his firing after five seasons, despite an 11-5 season in 1994.
Rivera got off to a slow start in Carolina and was on the hot seat several times throughout his tenure with Carolina.
Look at them now!
In order to truly judge an NFL head coach you need to give them a good amount of years to see the roster change.
Jason Garrett inherited a terrible situation when he became the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. It was a top-heavy team with tons of money tied up to aging players.
At a point in 2010, the average age of Dallas Cowboys starters was 29 years old. To open 2015, the average age of the Dallas Cowboys was 26, three years younger and considering they have a 36-year-old quarterback and a 33-year-old tight end.
Garrett has completely overhauled the Cowboys roster and has done so committing to young players. The Cowboys have invested premium picks on offensive line talent, something contradictory to the traditional splash drafting the Cowboys have exhibited in the past.
The fact of the matter is that this team is trending upward and had it not been for key injuries, 2015 would not have been a bump in the road.
People like to argue about the three 8-8 seasons to start Garrett's coaching career. I find that more impressive than anything. To overhaul a roster like Garrett did while staying playoff relevant is a plus, not a minus. Keep in mind, Garrett had no head coaching experience prior to the Cowboys.
The players absolutely buy into what Garrett tells them. Watch these players speak in interviews and they sound like Garrett's robots. You will hear the traditional phrases Garrett likes to use, like the process, one game at a time, etc.
The way Garrett motivates these players is inspiring. Watch any video on the Cowboys website where Garrett is speaking or motivating his players. For instance, the video where Garrett takes his players to visit the World Trade Center will give you chills.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
This is a Princeton graduate who speaks with poise and is never rattled. He understands the sport and more importantly knows how to handle human beings. It isn't about splash with Jason Garrett, it is about getting good players and winning football games.
Can Garrett improve as a coach? Absolutely he can. I would like to see the staff as a whole become less stubborn. Sometimes there is something brewing and the team is hesitant to make the move. For instance, Lucky Whitehead as a returner was clearly more dynamic than Cole Beasley, yet Garrett was hesitant to create change. Keeping with Lucky Whitehead, instead of making him a gadget player, they should be creative and use him as an actual wide receiver.
Making the change to Kellen Moore, deploying the young players late in the season, etc. are some decisions I wish Garrett had made easier and quicker. We never got to see Chaz Green or Damien Wilson when it would have been useful for them to get some experience.
How about the Devin Street over Brice Butler fiasco?
Garrett tends to be hesitant to create change, but sometimes it is necessary.
At the end of the day I'm ready to let Jason Garrett handle the Dallas Cowboys for the long haul. Let's see this man make his mark on the Cowboys roster. Give him complete control to decide who he wants and who he doesn't want anywhere near his locker room.
The chemistry the 2014 Dallas Cowboys had was something I have never seen in 23 years of fanhood. That team went to war for each other every single week and seemed to love playing and being together. You could see how hard they played on the field. The defense didn't have many standout players, but you saw them give their all on every single snap and it made all the difference.
Let Jason Garrett build a TEAM. He understands what it takes to have 53 men coming together to win football games. He understands it doesn't matter what position you are, where you come from, the pedigree, what you have done in the past...it matters what you can bring to the Dallas Cowboys and add to the team as one of 53 players.
There will be bumps along the road, but Jason Garrett is the right man to lead the Dallas Cowboys.
What Are Realistic Expectations for Cowboys LB Sean Lee?
For many years, Linebacker Sean Lee has been the face of the Dallas Cowboys defense. However, that's quickly changing. The young duo consisting of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have taken over the linebacker position by dominating the field from sideline to sideline with their explosive talent. As a rookie, Vander Esch filled in for Lee at the weak linebacker position when the veteran went down injured and never gave the job back.
Currently, uncertainty surrounds Sean Lee, who took a pay cut earlier in the year to stay with the franchise he's played for since the beginning of his professional career in 2010. What will his role be in a young fueled defense in the upcoming season?
As we've all been able to see throughout his career, Sean Lee is one of the best in the game when he's healthy. Unfortunately, that's not very often. His injury proneness led him to a position change years ago, when he was moved from the MIKE (middle linebacker) to the WILL (weak side linebacker) position. Now, those two spots are taken care of.
Where does this leaves Lee? The main question is whether or not he'll move to the strong side. Many question if this would be the correct call, given that he could be at even more risk of suffering yet another injury in a position that leads to more contact. The other option would be for him to be Vander Esch's backup at WILL.
Lately, it seems like the Cowboys will indeed move him to the strong-side. After all, it only makes sense to have your best three players on the field at the same time. On minicamp, the Cowboys have been playing the veteran at SAM, letting him get reps and grow comfortable in what seems to be his new job.
But even if Sean Lee starts lining up on the strong side, what can we expect from him next season? The way the NFL offenses operate now leads to teams sending their nickel packages to the field more often than not. For the Cowboys 4-3 defense, that means three cornerbacks, two linebackers. When that's the case, it will be Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith who we see out there, not Lee.
Damien Wilson was the team's "starter" on the strong side, and he only managed to get 286 snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. That represents 28% of the team's total snaps. Even if Sean Lee becomes the starting strong side linebacker, we likely won't be seeing him as much.
Even still, I'd expect Sean Lee's experience to play a big factor when the team needs Jaylon Smith or Leighton Vander Esch to catch their breath. Lee could jump in and play a few snaps at any LB spot and do a good job at it.
After all, we can't forget that despite his injuries, Lee is a remarkable player on defense. He should still be one of the smartest linebackers with extraordinary instincts. There's a reason why, before Vander Esch arrived to America's Team, the defense crumbled without him. Last year, despite losing the starting gig, Lee still had 118 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and an interception. The longtime veteran can still play.
It will be odd for Cowboys Nation to watch Lee on a completely new role. It's also hard to put the finger on what his production will look like at the end of the year. If there's one thing we know though, is that the veteran will work hard every practice trying to get the most playing time he can. We should be excited about the team's top three linebackers.
Dak Prescott Impresses, Draws Compliments All Minicamp Long
Dak Prescott stood before the media Thursday in a Stetson Cowboy hat, answering questions about his upcoming contract extension.
“I’ve got my cowboy hat on, so I’m a Cowboy, we’ll say that.”
Prescott has cemented himself as the franchise quarterback of America's Team, and now it's time for the franchise to pay him like it. Set to earn roughly $34 million per year (according to recent rumors/reports), Prescott is going to be a very rich and comfortable man in the near future.
But, for now, he still plays under his fourth round rookie contract. You wouldn't be able to tell by watching him on the field, however. Though it was just minicamp, Prescott was impressive as ever over the last couple weeks of practice, earning praise from all levels within the organization.
Veteran Jason Witten complimented both Prescott's anticipation and accuracy, saying his throws have been "off the charts" at minicamp. Prescott himself said that this is the best he's felt since he's entered the league, and it certainly makes sense for this to be the case.
"Is it three years under my belt or just seeing defenses a whole lot more clear, being quicker and faster in everything I want to do, having great teammates around me? Who really knows the answer, but I feel great. I feel confident, and my teammates do, as well.” - Prescott to DallasCowboys.com
If Prescott was ever going to be comfortable, hungry, and ready to go, this is likely the time that it would happen. He has three relatively successful seasons under his belt, and ended 2018 on the best stretch of his career. He is the unquestioned starting quarterback for this team, and has the backing of every key decision maker in the building.
Prescott now has an offensive coordinator who he has not only worked closely with (in some capacity) since he entered the league in 2016, but is also being lauded for his creativity as an offensive mastermind. His quarterbacks coach, Jon Kitna, has been receiving similar praise for how he can coach up Prescott and get his footwork consistent, to help him "throw it through a Fruit Loop."
The time is now for Dak Prescott, and it's encouraging to see how he is responding to this increased pressure and responsibility. Then again we should have no doubt that he will respond positively, as he as throughout his entire young career.
Whenever faced with adversity, Prescott has answered the bell. Now he has all the supporters he needs, and just needs to prove them right.
Does RB Ezekiel Elliott Have A Chance At NFL MVP?
Who is the Cowboys best player?
As a running back, it's quite possible that Elliott is both the best of that bunch and the least important to the team's overall success. NFL.com's Adam Schein disagrees with the latter statement, however, placing Ezekiel Elliott among his top ten contenders for 2019 NFL MVP.
"I think the Cowboys are going to challenge for the Super Bowl in 2019 -- and I think Zeke fuels this team. When Elliott runs for 95-plus yards, the Cowboys are 19-4; when he falls below that benchmark, they're 9-8." - Adam Schein
Schein's prediction will no doubt make Cowboys Nation swoon, but does Elliott really have the opportunity to compete for an MVP award?
For one, this would require the Cowboys be among the best teams in the league this season. It's quite possible, as they did win 10 regular season and 1 playoff game a year ago, but it will have to happen once again for Elliott to be considered.
Next, Ezekiel Elliott would have to put up incredible numbers. Well, it's safe to assume this will likely be the case if condition one is met. Elliott is going to get a lot of opportunities to touch the ball each game, and finding himself among the league's rushing leaders has never been an issue for the young running back. Especially if the team has a lead and is running the ball to kill clock.
Even if both these conditions prove true, though, Elliott will still have trouble getting himself in the real MVP discussion. These awards tend to go to certain positions, and running back is not among that list. If Dallas has such a successful 2019, and their offense is clicking, it's more likely Dak Prescott will be the one contending for that MVP honor.
I know to some it sounds crazy, but Prescott will likely need to be closer to MVP level than Elliott if the Cowboys are to contend in the way Adam Schein suggests in his article.
So, likely, Schein should have named Prescott among his top ten MVP contenders, not Elliott.
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