Found October 18, 2011 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
First off, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett should be commended for not taking exception to Bill Belichick's patented cold-fish handshake. Garrett believes in a firm handshake and awkwardly long eye contact, but he had bigger concerns following Sunday's 20-16 loss to the Patriots in Foxboro.
His honeymoon period as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys officially came to an end when he elected to go completely conservative while holding a 16-13 lead with 3:36 remaining in the game. You may have heard that New England loses a regular-season home game every five years or so. But the Cowboys appeared to have the Patriots on the ropes Sunday afternoon.
Garrett listened to that little voice in his head that told him to take the game out of his quarterback's hands and continue to trust that his defense could silence future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. Three running plays and a false-start penalty later, the Cowboys lined up in punt formation. What happened next is something we almost take for granted because of Brady's brilliance. He calmly led the Patriots down the field and then fired a touchdown pass with 22 seconds left on the clock. You don't give the most cold-blooded player in the league two chances to beat you in the final six minutes of a game.
But it's not like that late drive was out of character for the way Garrett had called plays in Sunday's game. He allowed Romo to exploit the middle of the field in the passing game, but he shut things down in the red zone. The Cowboys moved inside the Patriots' 20-yard line with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter and the score tied at 13. But they never looked in the end zone and ended the drive with a shovel pass that was diagnosed quickly and destroyed by the Patriots. Garrett settled for three points when the Cowboys absolutely needed seven.
You couldn't help but think Garrett was responding to the criticism he and mainly Romo received for blowing a 24-point lead against the Lions. Though he'd never admit it, Garrett is gun-shy right now because he doesn't trust his franchise quarterback.
And just to be clear, Sunday's loss was a completely different thing than what happened against the Lions. With the way the Cowboys' defense had played throughout much of the Detroit game, there was absolutely no reason to allow Romo to make those risky throws.
Against the Patriots, Garrett wasn't working with any cushion. In a way, Rob Ryan's defense may have lulled him to sleep as a playcaller. The defense had given Brady such fits in the second half that Garrett basically decided to turn the game over to Ryan's unit. Of course, Garrett insisted Monday that Romo's play against the Jets and Lions didn't affect his playcalling in the Patriots.
"I don't think so," said Garrett. "I think we were pretty aggressive throughout the ballgame, and I think Tony did a nice job handling it."
What's funny is that some of the same folks who were screaming at Garrett last week about needing to manage Romo are suddenly back in the "let Tony be Tony" camp. Garrett is caught in a no-win situation because the same things that make Romo a unique talent can also get a coach fired. The quarterback has an uncanny knack for being able to improvise, but he's also capable of making back-breaking mistakes at critical times.
For now, Garrett has no other choice but to ride with Romo. The 31-year-old quarterback isn't going to change, and that's just something fans have to accept. But if Garrett's going to completely neuter Romo and turn him into a shovel-pass specialist in the red zone, you might as well start Jon Kitna the rest of the season. Garrett appears to be caught in between with Romo right now, and that's a bad place to be.
It's strange to say the Cowboys are still in good position with a 2-3 record, but in this division, it's true. The New York Giants hung on to beat the Bills in the Meadowlands on Sunday, but at 4-2 they aren't going to run away with the division. The Redskins fell to 3-2 with a loss to the Eagles (2-4), so the NFC East remains wide open. A win over the 0-5 Rams on Sunday would get the Cowboys back to .500 and set up an intriguing matchup in Philadelphia the following week.
Dallas needs to win eight of its next 11 games to virtually assure itself of a playoff spot. But you get the feeling right now that nine wins might win the NFC East. The best thing that came out of Sunday's loss to the Patriots is the confirmation that Ryan's defense is capable of slowing down any offense. Now, Garrett needs to quickly figure out a way to complement his defense on a more consistent basis.
On Sunday, his conservative approach didn't do Ryan any favors down the stretch. And like it or not, Romo is not a quarterback who responds well to being micro-managed.
Garrett may have no other choice to unleash him in the coming weeks. Either way, he has to live with the consequences.
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After a couple of nights of sleep, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones expressed regret for publicly second-guessing head coach Jason Garrett's play calling late in Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. While answering questions in the visitors' locker room at Gillette Stadium, Jones said Garrett's...
class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-10179" title="VIDEO WARNING LOGO" src="http://thelandryhat.com/files/2011/10/VIDEO-WARNING-LOGO.jpg" alt="" width="534" height="50" ... [visit site to read more]LizzyFreek video: “Leave Dallas Cowboys’ Coach Jason Garrett alone!” - The Landry Hat - The Landry Hat - A Dallas...
Had enough yet, Dallas Cowboys fans?
Sure, the 2011 season is just five games old. But the Cowboys have already provided enough heartbreak to last for an entire year.
The latest find-a-way-to-lose example came in Sunday's 20-16 defeat at New England. The Cowboys had a three-point lead with 3:36 remaining when Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made a decision that even his team...
PFT: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones regrets his criticism of coach Jason Garrett's playcalling.
class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-10179" title="VIDEO WARNING LOGO" src="http://thelandryhat.com/files/2011/10/VIDEO-WARNING-LOGO.jpg" alt="" width="534" height="50" ... [visit site to read more]SIMUS Video: Cowboy Coach Jason Garrett gets gameplan from Madden 12 - The Landry Hat - The Landry Hat - A Dallas Cowboys...
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wishes he had just said nothing.
After the Cowboys dropped a 20-16 decision to the New England Patriots on Sunday, Jones openly questioned the play calling for head coach Jason Garrett.
Dallas, which was nursing a three-point lead, elected to run three straight times before punting the ball to New England with 2:31 remaining in the contest.
"I'm a Romosapien"A couple weeks ago I suggested that Jason Garrett rein in Tony Romo ‘just enough to get to the Superbowl’. The same way Mike Holmgren did with Brett Favre in the 90′s. The ‘just enough’ part is very important. Sunday’s game against the Patriots, Jason Garrett went too far.In the pre-season, Jason said that Romo was working on his game...
IRVING – It’s one thing for fans and media to question Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett’s play-calling and quite another for Jerry Jones to do it.
The owner told Yahoo!Sports that his thoughts when he saw the Cowboys keep the ball on the ground for three downs before punting it away to New England with 2:21 left were, “They’re gonna get at least a field goal. We’ll be...
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FORT WORTH, Texas • Jason Garrett quit on Tony
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Why is more of the responsibility for this 2-3 start not put on Jason Garrett?
Can we talk about the playcalling late in the game Sunday? Because that was ridiculous. I know the Cowboys defense had played a brilliant game up to that final New England drive, and I can see why Jason Garrett would want to show a little faith in them, but seriously: WHY ARE YOU RUNNING THE BALL?
Let's take a closer look at the situation: It was a 16-13 game. There was 3...
A middle-aged white dude goes a little too all in on his postgame handshake duty with another middle-aged white dude, and we dissect every second. Add an overzealous back slap followed by an awkward run and chest bumping, and we want punishment because, well, this kind of machismo silliness has no business in the National Football League.
Meanwhile we flat-out ignore the far more...