Dallas Cowboys: 3 Reasons Jason Garrett Should Already Be on the Hot Seat
Garrett made a considerable amount of mistakes in the 2011 season, mistakes that would normally cause a coach to lose his job. He acknowledged his shortcomings as a coach, saying he must learn from his mistakes before the Cowboys can improve.
It was painfully obvious that Garrett—who was no prior head coaching experience—was still learning his position. Jones assured the coach that his job is safe for the 2012 season. Jones went out on a limb to hire Garrett to replace Wade Phillips and seems determined to prove that he made the right choice.
Awful Clock Management
Jason Garrett has cost his team a couple victories as a result of his poor decision-making. He has awful time management skills, which lead to simple yet critical mistakes.
The game that sticks out the most is when the Cowboys played the Cardinals in Arizona. The 'Boys were lined up to kick the game-winning field goal when Garrett called a timeout right before the snap. He iced his own kicker! Dan Bailey hit the field goal, but it didn't count due to the timeout. On the next play, Bailey missed the field goal, taking the game into overtime. Cardinals won.
Garrett's explanation at the time was that the play clock was winding down and he wanted Bailey to get a clean opportunity. DeMarcus Ware later revealed that Garrett apologized to the team for his mistake.
Yes, it was a mistake. However, it was a mistake that no NFL head coach should make. If the Cowboys were to make it to the postseason, a mistake like that would end their season.
Jerry Jones Undermines His Authority
Not only is Jerry Jones the owner of the Cowboys, but he's also the general manager. He is the face of the team. What Jerry Jones is not is the head coach.
There was an incident last season on Dec. 24, 2011 when Jones went down to the sidelines during the first quarter of a game against the Eagles. The owner said he prefers to talk face-to-face, and he wanted to give his opinion on how Garrett should handle the remainder of the game.
Jones' decision was insulting to Garrett's intelligence. Is it possible that he that believes his head coach isn't capable of...well, coaching? Jones already said that Garrett's job is safe next season. However, he could just be giving the head coach a chance to prove his abilities without dealing with lockout constraints. He groomed Garrett for this position for years, so he won't give up after one mediocre season. But who knows what will happen if 2012 is a repeat of 2011.
Poor Conservative Play-Calling
Jason Garrett is infamous in Dallas for his poor play-calling. The Cowboys play like they're scared, and the coach sticks to the same plays no matter what the situation is. He clearly doesn't care about offensive predictability.
His conservative play-calling is detrimental to the team. Garrett simply lacks the courage to take risks that could potentially help the Cowboys close out games. Dallas lost four of their last five games in the 2011 season, two of them (versus Arizona and NY Giants) came down to the final seconds.
When a team is neck-and-neck with its opponent, it is up to the coach to lead his team to a victory. Effective play-calling is the key to winning games that come down to the wire. Garrett has shown that when the game is close, he gets super-conservative. That mindset does not win games.