Saturday, January 8, 2011
Jason Garrett is the new head coach in Big D
Well, he had a lot of cards stacked against him when he took over the badly underachieving team at midseason. That's putting it lightly. The Dallas Cowboys were 1-7!!!!!!! Should'nt they have been 7-1 or at least 6-2? Probably. But each week losing became contagious. When they came off of their bye week and lost to Tennessee, there really were just no more excuses. That game was the beginning of the end of the Wade Phillips regime. The countdown and discussion had officially begun. There were games lost that a year ago they don't lose. That Tennessee game was nothing but mistakes, penalties, and disciplinary issues. Everything they could possibly DO to beat themselves. Yet until Romo went down a couple of weeks later on a Monday Night against the Giants, it looked like a they could still turn things around. They were doing all of these things, finding ways to lose, ways that you weren't sure were possible even, and they were losing only by a touchdown or less. But Romo then went down. The six point loss to the Giants felt more like 26. And then it would get worse before it got better. The losses to Jacksonville and Green Bay were by a combined score of 80-24. Cowboys sank to 1-7 and it was Bye Bye Wade. Unfortunate because he was a nice guy and the Cowboys had been 33-15 in his 3 full seasons as coach before that unsightly first half of 2010 that got him whacked. He appeared incapable of rallying the troops. Enter Jason Garrett, the team's offensive coordinator for 4 seasons and one of the league's highest if not THE highest paid assistant coach. He comes in and does the Giants in the Meadowlands. And he proceeds to go 5-3 in the second half. He has no Romo and several others are banged up or out. And he misses going 8-0 by 7 total points. The team's turnover ratio went from -9 in the first half of the season to +9 (even though the depleted defense continued to surrender points in bunches) The offense went from averaging just over 20 pts a game to nearly 30. And to think what he'll do next year when Dez Bryant and Tony Romo come back healthy. The big upgrade and improving area is the defense, which came into this year highly touted. After all in 2009, that same defense had held the Eagles to 30 TOTAL points in three wins against them, including that playoff game. Garrett brings discipline, accountability, and passion to this team, as they look to rebound in 2011. Many speculate that Jerry Jones didn't check out the coaching candidates out there more. But Garrett's second half of the season at the helm spoke loud volumes. He's been with the organization for the better part of almost 20 years and judging by what he's said and how he's carried himself so far, that it's his dream job. And he has inherited a talented roster. The offseason has begun in Dallas. It will be a time to heal and look forward with plenty of realistic optimism.