Following the close of a disappointing season, the Dallas Cowboys finally chose to pull the trigger on firing head coach Jason Garrett. It was a long-awaited move that many believed was coming after the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs and underperformed drastically with their talented roster. It was a move that may have taken a few more days, but it appears it’s one that could not have happened if not for one thing pushing Dallas to go that route.
Cowboys fire Jason Garrett
In the months leading into the 2019 season, there was an underlying storyline around the Cowboys that Garrett was entering his final year with the franchise.
That notion began after the team had elected not to pick up his option for the 2020 campaign, which essentially put him on a one-year, prove-it deal. Dallas had gotten out to a hot 3-0 start, but things faltered as the season wore along falling out of the playoff picture entirely over the final two weeks.
The Cowboys’ lack of success despite possessing a talented roster put Garrett on the hot seat that led to his eventual firing after 9 1/2 seasons as their head coach. He had compiled an 85-67 regular-season record and a 2-3 mark in the playoffs. Dallas had just three playoff appearances that were all behind NFC East division titles.
However, it turns out that the Cowboys may have only decided to cut their ties with Garrett due to one reason.
How the Cowboys could have kept Jason Garrett
Days after the conclusion of the 2019 season, the Cowboys decided to part ways with Garrett. However, it wasn’t as clean-cut as everyone expected it to be, as it lingered on with a couple of scheduled meetings that took a week to make the decision.
It was a pathway that could have been avoided entirely if the Cowboys didn’t feel the outside pressure from other head coach candidates, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.
The high-ranking source said that had the Cowboys not been overwhelmed by McCarthy or any other candidates, there was a chance Garrett could have returned as coach.
That gives off the notion that the Cowboys were more than willing to stay with Garrett for at least another season if they weren’t exactly impressed by the coaches available. There may have been reports on Jan. 2 that the team was going to move from him, but it didn’t officially happen until they honed in on Mike McCarthy to be their next head coach.
It was a complicated situation that the Cowboys wanted to explore their options while still having the possibility of retaining Garrett if they didn’t like what was out there.
Cowboys can finally move forward with Mike McCarthy
The Cowboys were stuck in the mud with Garrett over the last several years, with their team underperforming from their promising potential.
It’s not to say that McCarthy is the definitive answer that Dallas is looking for in their next head coach, but he has an opportunity to prove that. He had a highly successful tenure with the Green Bay Packers that extended nearly 13 years with several trips to the playoffs and a Super Bowl win.
There will be those that point to him having the luxury of possessing Aaron Rodgers under center, but this is a chance for him to spread his wings to guide the Cowboys to success. His five-year deal gives him the security and flexibility to build his team’s identity and culture for the long haul.
Ultimately, only time will tell if hiring McCarthy was the right move, but it had grown clear that Garrett was no longer a viable choice.