Certain people in the sporting world will always be under pressure. Just ask Jason Garrett, head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, about that. When you’re calling the shots for America’s Team, every move you make is examined with a fine-toothed comb.
After losing to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night, the head coach has found himself back on the hot seat. But, for all the slings and arrows thrown his way, many Cowboys fans have one big issue with Garrett.
Jason Garrett’s Dallas Cowboys career
After a college football career at Princeton and Columbia, Jason Garrett made the jump to the pros. He went undrafted and failed to land an NFL gig; after brief spells in the World League of American Football and the Canadian Football League, he landed on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.
He started the 1993 season as the third quarterback on the depth chart but found himself starting after Troy Aikman’s injury. While he never saw much action, Garrett was on the roster of two Super Bowl-winning squads. After leaving the Cowboys, he would play a few more professional seasons before retiring.
In 2007, Garrett rejoined the Cowboys as offensive coordinator; three years later, he took over as interim head coach after Wade Phillips was fired. He officially took over the job in January 2011 and has held the post ever since.
The Cowboys’ inconsistent 2019 season
This season, the Dallas Cowboys have struggled to find a rhythm. The year started on a high note, with Ezekiel Elliott ending his holdout and the team rattling off three straight wins, but things quickly came crashing down.
The Cowboys dropped their next three games, falling back to the .500 mark. Their starting offensive tackles, Tyron Smith and La’El Collins, both got hurt, which triggered a domino effect; without Smith and Collins, the Dallas offense couldn’t execute their run-first offense. That forced them to play from behind, which Dak Prescott and company simply aren’t set up to do.
Dallas posted a dominant win over the Eagles in Week 7, however, and followed that up with a big victory over the Giants after the bye. On Sunday, though, they slipped up against the Minnesota Vikings, slipping back into the NFC East pack.
Jason Garrett’s conservative offense
While it’s easy to be critical of Jason Garrett’s postseason performance—he’s only led the Cowboys three playoffs and has never advanced past the divisional round—that’s not the coach’s biggest issue.
Even though Garrett isn’t the offensive coordinator anymore, he still seems to have the team trapped in a time warp. He was a member of Super Bowl-winning squads built around a strong offensive line and a dominant Emmitt Smith and wants the current Cowboys to play in the same way. While they do have the personnel to do it, that’s not the way the NFL works anymore.
With the one-two punch of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys have the best offense in the league, but they’re only one game above .500. When there are consistent mistakes, slow starts every week, and questionable playcalling every week, the blame usually tends to move upstairs.
Jason Garrett has done plenty of good work in Dallas, helping to restore the legendary franchise to respectability. With his contract nearing its conclusion and concerns starting to mount, his time in the saddle may be coming to an end.