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Garrett just completed his first full season as head coach, and the results were something less than stellar.
I have never believed that each win and loss points directly to the head coach even though they are responsible for each of those. I do believe, however, that other areas fall solely on this position.
Since owner and general manager Jerry Jones fancies Garrett as a sharp offensive mind, Garrett is also graded as a play caller and this category is probably worse than the head coach discussion.
Following 2010, most felt that Garrett’s record of 5-3 (really 4-3 since the season finale in Philadelphia was a victory against Eagles backups in Philadelphia) deserved a grade of I, for incomplete.
Well, now it’s complete, and I’ll point to the three most obvious blunders that formulate my grade.
1. The loss to AFC Super Bowl representative New England Patriots in October was unfortunate. Road games are tough but this ended up being a loss against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. That the Cowboys could neither score more than 20 points against this unit is not encouraging. Failing to keep the ball away from Tom Brady late in the 4th quarter was the nail in the coffin.
2. Two weeks before the Patriots loss, Dallas suffered its biggest collapse in history. After taking a 27-3 lead early in the second half, Garrett found a way to hand massive momentum back to the Detroit Lions via two pick sixes in a matter of minutes. With a quarterback still suffering from multiple injuries sustained against San Francisco two weeks prior, it never occurred to Garrett to run the ball and pound the young, demoralized Lions into submission. Garrett was like a 10-year-old playing Madden 2012 on Playstation 3 and should have been fired for complete incompetence.
3. The loss at Arizona against a non-playoff team wasn’t as much a head scratcher when you consider that the Cowboys, despite having as many fans in Phoenix as the Cardinals do, always find creative ways to lose in the dessert. On the other hand, have you ever seen a head coach, in a tied game, decide that with about 30 seconds left and two time outs remaining that a 49-yard field goal attempt is plenty close enough for a rookie kicker?
After wasting half a minute, the Cowboys attempted a longer field goal than necessary and Dan Bailey hit a 49 yarder for an apparent win—except Garrett called timeout, as Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt might have done, nullifying the kick. Bailey missed the following attempt, the game went to overtime, and I trust you remember the rest.
That same 10-year-old playing Madden 2012 on Playstation 3 would have managed the clock better than this. And now Bill Callahan comes riding in, obviously to fill the voids Garrett can’t.
HC Grade: F-
OC Grade: C