Originally posted on Cippin on Sports  |  Last updated 8/2/13
1. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys Garrett is entering his third season as Dallas’ head coach. In 2011 he led the Cowboys to an 8-8 record as the team missed out on a playoff berth after losing to the New York Giants – the eventual Super Bowl winners – in the final game of the regular season. Garrett’s Cowboys went 8-8 once again in 2012 as Dallas missed out on the NFL playoffs for a third consecutive season. As a head coach, Garrett is under particular scrutiny because of the high expectations of the Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones. Jones recently said the atmosphere at Cowboys’ training camp was “conducive to putting a [successful] team together”, and suggested that he expected the play of his offense to improve due to the increased incentive for Tony Romo to play well – Romo has 119.5 million reasons to do so – and the balance he expects to achieve from hiring Bill Callahan as offensive coordinator. Quite simply, if the Cowboys don’t reach the playoffs this season, I believe Garrett will be fired. Jones is impatient and feels his team is primed and ready to win; I would argue otherwise. Their secondary play is poor, as is that of their offensive line and their running game. Dallas has problems and Garrett is being scrutinized as a result. 2. Rex Ryan, New York Jets After a promising start in New York in which Ryan led the Jets to the AFC Championship game in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the team has faltered in recent years. In 2012 the Jets finished third in the AFC East with a 6-10 record. Much of the poor play of the Jets in recent years can be attributed to Mark Sanchez’s ineptitude as an NFL quarterback. Indeed, it could be argued that Ryan was unfortunate to be given a poor quarterback situation by former general manager Mark Tannenbaum. Regardless, Ryan’s Jets must improve this season otherwise he is likely to lose his job. Unfortunately for Ryan, I don’t see the Jets making great strides in 2013. They solidified their defence somewhat via the NFL Draft with the selections of Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama) and Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri), but their offense is too weak to make the team a contender. Regardless of who emerges from the Jets’ quarterback battle as the starter, the team will be little better off. Sanchez is poor and Smith is inexperienced. Jets fans should not expect Smith to have a Russell Wilson-esque impact upon their team; he needs time to develop in order to have a chance of improving Ryan’s team. The NFL is a quarterback driven league, and without a strong starting quarterback I cannot see the Jets improving greatly this year. Moreover, the Jets have problems at receiver. Their star wide out Santonio Holmes is unsure of when he’ll return from a foot injury. This leaves the Jets seriously in need of a playmaker at receiver. The recent signing of Braylon Edwards is a step in the right direction, but he will not be as effective as he used to be. Edwards has not had a 1,000 yard receiving season since 2007 and with Sanchez potentially throwing him the ball, repeating that feat seems unlikely. In short, New York’s offense has serious problems that will prevent them improving greatly in 2013. As a result, Ryan could be out of the job. 3. Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions Despite the fact that Schwartz led the Lions to a 10-6 record and the playoffs in 2011, he is under pressure in 2013 due to the poor performance of his team in 2012. Their 4-12 record ensured that they finished last in the NFC North and questions are being raised once again as to Schwartz’s ability to lead the Lions – or any other team – to success in the NFL. Schwartz’s career coaching record is an abysmal .349. He is safe currently, but if the Lions don’t improve dramatically he may suffer the consequences during the offseason. With the NFC North significantly weaker than it has been in the past few seasons – Chicago have a new head coach, Green Bay have questions in their running game and I’m not sold on Christian Ponder in Minnesota – I expect the Lions to improve from last season. The addition of Reggie Bush gives Matthew Stafford another weapon in both the passing and running game, while Calvin Johnson will continue to strike fear into opposing defensive backs. Detroit’s defense should be stout this season, particularly up front after the addition of Ziggy Ansah via the NFL Draft. Detroit’s secondary has been poor in recent seasons and the drafting of Darius Slay (CB, Mississippi St.) should help improve the group. Detroit has to improve this season; they have few missing pieces and they’ve just handed Matthew Stafford a bumper contract. If Schwartz is to keep his job in Detroit, this season is make or break. One to Watch: Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs Reid’s job is by no means in jeopardy in 2013. However, he has inherited a team that was solid apart from at the quarterback position – last season the Chiefs had five pro bowlers. The free agency addition of Alex Smith has solved the Chiefs’ quarterback woes and I think this team is a serious contender for the playoffs; they wont win their division but they could be in with a shout for a Wild Card spot. Simply put, Reid’s coaching credentials will be seriously questioned if he can’t find success with this strong Chiefs team. If 2013 doesn’t go well for Kansas City, Reid may be on a short leash in 2014. This article was written by Rhys Norman. You can follow him on Twitter @RhysNorman1 and also follow @cippinonsports.  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Irsay: Pagano safe, Peyton not in picture as potential Colts GM

LeBron James: Gregg Popovich ‘factors a lot’ into 2020 Olympics decision

Cuban softens stance on superstar status of Westbrook

Ric Flair gets into Twitter fight with Panthers player over Falcons fandom

Charlotte thinks a $175M MLS stadium will help heal racial divisions

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joel Embiid is an MVP candidate

Jadeveon Clowney fined $18k for hit on Tom Brady during playoffs

Travis Kelce fined $21,615 for shoving player, calling out ref

10 best undrafted players remaining in NFL playoffs

Arizona's Allonzo Trier cleared to play after drug test comes back negative

Rodgers dealing with sickness ahead of NFC Championship Game

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Ranking the top three conferences in college basketball

The NFC Championship’s two most important players

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker