Jerry Jones indicated that changes were coming earlier this week, and for the Cowboys sake those changes should start with their head coach.
Since Jason Garrett took over for Wade Phillips as the Cowboys’ head coach midway through the 2010 season, Dallas has gone just 21-19 and failed to reach the postseason in any of his three seasons in charge. Now, after middling through another season of .500 football, the time is now for the Cowboys to take their football team in a new direction.
The blackest of Mondays came and went, but none of the record seven coaching changes happened to take place in Big D. Jones, who is about as quick to pull the trigger in tough situations as Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, stayed quiet and seemed prepared to keep the Cowboys intact after another 8-8 finish. Jones even put his full support behind Garrett just a few shorts weeks ago, but the Cowboys were still in the playoff hunt then.
Now, with another disappointing season in the books, Jones’ support of his head coach seems to have waned and change could be afoot.
“I can assure you guys — I can assure our fans — it’s going to be very uncomfortable for the next few weeks and months at Valley Ranch,” Jones said, indicating changes were coming, during an appearance on CBS Radio in Dallas on Wednesday. “There are a lot of teams that haven’t been at .500, but nobody hasn’t been at .500 and spent as much cash as I’m spending.”
Jones has sunk plenty of money into the Cowboys over the past few seasons and indicated on Wednesday he plans to dish out some more for quarterback Tony Romo this summer, which could be another precursor to Garrett’s demise.
Romo and Garrett have spent six seasons working together in Dallas, so there’s clearly a relationship between the two, but it appears to be quickly deteriorating. Jones’ faith in Romo, and the consequent lack of consistent results from the quarterback, seems to have him thinking that the player isn’t the problem but rather the system (i.e.: Garrett) might be flawed — and he may be right.
Garrett’s middling results, even with the immense talent on the Cowboys’ roster over the past two and a half seasons, has been disappointing on its own, but Romo’s regression behind center are even more concerning. Romo threw three fewer touchdowns (28) and nine more interceptions (19) this season than in 2011. In fact, Romo’s 19 interceptions matches his career high from 2007, only the Cowboys finished that season 13-3 and with the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
The absence of playoff appearances combined with Romo’s struggles should be enough for Jones to give Garrett the old Cowboy boot. A fresh face and winning attitude can be found out on the open market this offseason, whether it be in the form of Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren, Andy Reid or even Chip Kelly.
There are plenty of directions for Jones to take, but not a lot of patience from the Cowboys’ starved fan base. The Cowboys needs a new head coach now, otherwise they might be no better off than the Eagles or the Cardinals by this time next year.
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