The Dallas Cowboys have struggled to breakthrough in the first 12 weeks of the season, falling towards the middle of the pack. The Cowboys were pinned by many to be the favorites to win the NFC East while pegged as a possible Super Bowl contender. However, Dallas has fallen south towards almost being out of the playoff picture entirely. Following a disappointing road loss to the New England Patriots, should it mark that the team needs to move on from head coach Jason Garrett?
Jason Garrett’s lackluster tenure
Since taking over as the Cowboys’ head coach, the team has had a mixed bag of results on the field, falling on both ends of the spectrum. Garrett has accumulated an 83-64 record in the regular season in his nine-plus years with the franchise.
The Cowboys have finished mainly around the .500 mark under the 53-year-old with just three double-digit wins campaigns along with notching an 8-8 record on three occasions. All of that has equated to only three playoff appearances, with all those trips being behind NFC East division titles.
It hasn’t entirely been dumpster fire for the Cowboys, but for an organization that holds a high internal level of expectations, it falls well below the mark. That has, without a doubt, been the case in the 2019 campaign.
Cowboys underperform under Jason Garrett
Beyond holding the benefit of playing in one of the weaker divisions in the league, the Cowboys have struggled to gather any sort of separation in the standings.
Every team in the NFC East is below the .500 mark, while the bottom teams in the division have combined for just four wins in the first 12 weeks of the season. Dallas has taken care of that portion of their schedule, holding a 4-0 mark in divisional play, but that they have struggled outside of it with wins over two lowly teams in the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions.
Meanwhile, four out of their five losses this season have each come by four points or fewer. Three out of those have come against some of the top teams in the league (Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints), and it does underline their inability to perform against viable competition. In total, they are 6-1 against teams at or under a .500 record and 0-4 against teams over .500.
It brings forth the fair argument that the Cowboys could be on the outside looking in for the playoffs if they played in a formidable division like the NFC West or AFC South. Beyond all that, Dallas is vastly underperforming with the talent that they have.
Expect decision to come until after 2019 season
The writing has been in the wall for quite some time for the Cowboys, but there may have been a reason all along for the front office’s decision not to extend Garrett‘s contract.
The 2019 campaign was always going to be the make-or-break season for Garrett without the long-term deal in place. Team owner Jerry Jones has remained supportive of his head coach, but there is no current commitment beyond this year.
That was made more evident with reports coming out on Sunday morning that Garrett would have some interest in joining the New York Giants if he were fired. The Cowboys may ultimately come to the decision to part ways, but that will likely not come until the offseason.
Dallas still holds the top overall spot in the NFC East, being a game up on the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the final five games of the season. The Cowboys certainly have the talent on both sides of the ball to contend for the Super Bowl, but if they fall short once again, it’s hard to envision them extending Garrett for yet another run.