Jason Garrett is Gone

Photo Credit: Keith Allison on Wikimedia Commons

To their fans’ delight, the Dallas Cowboys have decided to part ways with Head Coach Jason Garrett at long last. Garrett, with only two playoff wins to show over ten years, has wasted the numerous careers of Cowboy greats such as Jason Witten, Tony Romo, and Dez Bryant. There was a blatantly obvious and constant theme in the “Garett” era over the years: mediocrity. After taking over as the full-time Head Coach in 2010, Garrett went 8-8 three seasons in a row, along with a 9-7 record a few years after. He strung together a few “quality” years, including 2016 when his team sported a 13-3 record. Before the 2019 season started, Dallas had Super Bowl aspirations. However, fans and pundits alike wondered whether Garrett would hinder his team’s ability to reach their full potential. They started off strong, but heartbreak for their fans was lying in wait. Lacking the leadership from the top to instill resilience into the NFL’s youngest roster, the Cowboys fell apart. They were being outmatched in the first half of games week by week while playing catch up in the second half to no avail. Not only did they fool their supporters, but they even deceived the statisticians, gathering enough “garbage time” yards to lead the league in total offensive yards. Garrett’s fate was nearly decided by an absolutely horrendous Thanksgiving showing against Buffalo. After missing the playoffs, owner Jerry Jones reluctantly decided to pull the trigger.

Now that Garrett has moved to New York, who will be next in line to try to restore this iconic franchise to their 90’s glory? Wait no longer, Cowboy Nation, that man is Mike McCarthy. McCarthy is the former coach of the Green Bay Packers, the bane of the Dallas Cowboys’ existence for the past decade. A clear upgrade over his predecessor, Coach McCarthy has experience in leading a historically dominant franchise to a Super Bowl win. Since assuming Head Coach responsibilities in Green Bay, McCarthy has obtained an accomplished win percentage of 61.8%. An offensive-minded coach is only as good as the quarterbacks he works with. McCarthy was the Quarterbacks Coach for Brett Favre in his first stint with the Packers for the 1999 season, and has succeeded with Aaron Rodgers to a degree. While Rodgers’ play on the field is viewed as special, his relationship with his coach is not. Rodgers eventually prodded the front office to fire McCarthy in 2018.

In his year off, McCarthy specifically did film sessions to study the latest offensive analytics trends to keep his football mind evolving and sharp. When asked what the expectations for his new team in 2020 were, he replied that he was “eager and anxious” to lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

With a new Head Coach came an almost entirely new staff, with Kellen Moore (Offensive Coordinator) being the only key returning member of last year’s staff. Notable hirings include Mike Nolan (Defensive Coordinator) and Maurice Linguist (Secondary Coach). Also, the expiring contracts of Dak Prescott (quarterback), Amari Cooper (receiver), Byron Jones (corner), and Robert Quinn (defensive end) are major concerns.

Dallas is projected to have cap space of upwards of 80 million, and the front office has to decide whether to commit long-term to certain players or not. The option of trading is even available as multiple rumors surrounding the acquisition of All-Pro safety Jamal Adams from the Jets continue to surface. With the reputation of “America’s Team” hanging in the balance this summer, a Super Bowl seems to be the only way to justify recent off-season moves. Welcome to Dallas, Mike McCarthy.