Dallas Cowboys Collapse: Why Jason Garrett, Rob Ryan Need to Go

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIJanuary 3, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Head coach Jason Garrett watches as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys 20-7.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys were 7-4 after Week 12 and held a two-game lead in the NFC East. They finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs. There is no other way to describe what happened then a complete and total collapse. Yet, for some reason, Jerry Jones has decided not to make any changes to the coaching staff responsible for that disaster.

I know Garrett was in his first full season as a head coach, but he cost the team at least two games with his poor clock management. He may be liked by Jones and the players, but I don't care how little experience you have as a head guy, costing your team even one game is grounds enough to be fired. If the Cowboys had won just one of those games, they would be hosting a playoff game this weekend.

Another big problem this season was Rob Ryan's defense, which utterly collapsed late in games and had no fire whatsoever despite having enough talent to compete with anyone. Ryan's defense finished 14th in the NFL in yards allowed this season (343.2 per game) and 16th in points surrendered (21.7 per game).

Some have said that the Cowboys improved defensively over last season (they finished 23rd in yards allowed and 31st in points allowed), but that isn't exactly saying much. Somehow, Ryan couldn't harness the talent of a defense that has guys like Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware and Mike Jenkins and turn that into success. 

Dallas also ranked 23rd in the NFL in passing defense, allowing 244.1 yards per game. That's just simply unacceptable.

Maybe Garrett and Ryan will turn things around next season, but I just don't see it. The defensive coordinator came in with a ton of bluster and bravado and fell short of expectations. Meanwhile, Garrett was in charge of a team that blew three double-digit fourth-quarter leads—something that had only happened twice in the franchise's 51 previous seasons.

With the talent Dallas has, an 8-8 season should result in some coaches losing their jobs. Apparently, Jones doesn't see things that way.