Jonathan Larson's Rent teaches us that there are 525,600 minutes in a year. It's petitioned that this can be measured in daylights, sunsets, midnights, or cups of coffee. Perhaps you prefer inches, miles, or yardage… Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett definitely likes yards.
On December 27th, 2015 Garrett's Cowboys started their fourth quarterback of the season (Kellen Moore) in a dreadful 6-16 loss in Buffalo. December 27th, 2016 (today duh) we find ourselves 525,600 minutes removed from that agony and celebrating a 180 degree turn of events.
We all woke up today for a special Tuesday edition of #VictoryPoloMonday, celebrating the Dallas Cowboys and their Monday Night Football win over the Detroit Lions. The game bounced in the direction of the Cowboys quite easily in the second half, as a 21-21 tie ended 42-21 in favor of the good guys. Pretty cool, right?
Jason Garrett knows well about victories inside AT&T Stadium against Detroit, as his only career playoff win is laced with those exact details (2014). He's a long way removed from the squad of two years ago, and while he's got his sights set on much bigger things… it was this recent win against the Lions that served as the nail in the coffin for something special – Coach of the Year.
Jason Garrett's Coach Of The Year Resume
Last Friday I outlined the ridiculousness that has been the 2016 Dallas Cowboys season here at Inside The Star. There have been a number of crazy, and unique, obstacles in front of the Cowboys at different points, and Jason Garrett has steered them through them all. Among the many, there are a few more notable hurdles that needed to be Zeke-leapt over:
- The loss of primary backup Quarterback Kellen Moore.
- The serious injury to starting Quarterback Tony Romo.
- The injury to the best Left Tackle in football, Tyron Smith.
- The loss of second-year Left Guard, La'el Collins.
- The three-game loss of star Wide Receiver, Dez Bryant (and his MRI saga).
- The fluctuating health of Cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
- The development of 4th Round Rookie Quarterback Dak Prescott.
- The handling of the Tony Romo situation once Romo returned from injury.
This list hits you so hard that you could've sworn it was Chris Jones during punt coverage. To merely survive it would be an incredible accomplishment, but Jason Garrett is far more than incredible. Coach Garrett guided the Cowboys through all of this and has them firmly entrenched as the NFC's top seed at 13-2, tying the Dallas Cowboys record for most wins in a season.
What Was So Special About The Lions Game?
Had the Lions won on Monday Night Football – they didn't, what a bunch of scrubs – then they would have clinched a playoff berth… those are some serious stakes (I wish they'd been steaks, though).
While Detroit entered the game with much on the line, the Cowboys entered with literally nothing to play for. Due to the Giants loss in Philadelphia last Thursday, the Cowboys clinched everything they possibly could on December 22nd.
This means that the Dallas Cowboys welcomed a team who was literally playing for everything while they were playing for nothing. How'd that go? Dallas won 42-21. The Cowboys handed the Lions a drubbing despite resting pivotal defensive starters and therefore, despite always wanting to win, adding some more hurdles in the interim for the sake of the long-run.
Think about this seriously. The Dallas Cowboys at lower-than-normal capacity didn't just beat, but utterly dominated a team that gave all that they had. This is remarkable.
The Dak And Zeke Effect
There's no denying how impressive rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have been this season. They've been instrumental to the success that the Cowboys have had, but they've been coached masterfully along the way.
Dallas secured a franchise record-tying 13th win against Detroit, but they also accomplished something that no other Dallas Cowboys team ever has in the process. Jason Garrett's ‘Boys now have a rookie quarterback (Dak) with 20 passing touchdowns and a rookie running back (Zeke) with 15 rushing touchdowns.
This is actually so special that not only has no Dallas Cowboys team never done it… no NFL team has ever done it!
This is an insanely difficult thing to do with any two players. It is downright impossible to do with rookies at both positions! Jason Garrett did it. He deserves an honor only two other Dallas Cowboys Head Coaches have received – Coach of the Year. Tom Landry won it in 1966, Jimmy Johnson won it in 1990, and Jason Garrett deserves it in 2016.