Whether Cowboys Nation likes it or not, change is coming. Chances are it is not the change that the team desperately needs.
The Dallas Cowboys 2019 season has been an abysmal disaster. Aspirations were through the roof in September only to be let down by the teams 3-7 record in the last ten games.
After beating up on the likes of the New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins, teams with a combined 8-31 record, Dallas has shown who they are. The team is 6-1 against teams with losing records but 0-6 against teams with winning records.
Owner Jerry Jones did not re-sign coach Jason Garrett to a new contract last offseason. He was betting on Garrett coaching for his life to bring what Jones covets, a Super Bowl far removed from any Jimmy Johnson influence.
With maybe a bit of irony, the team has vastly underperformed in Garrett’s prove-it season. Could there be a locker room desire to see a new coach lead the team next season? No one inside or out of the locker is saying anything along these lines but with the same core from a team that won ten regular season games and a playoff game last year, they have not managed to beat a single “good” team this season.
But there still exists a small chance Garrett could salvage his job with Dallas. Despite the atrocious 6-7 record, Dallas will clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Eagles in Week Sixteen and either the Rams or Redskins. There is a remote chance Dallas could make the playoffs if they lose to the Eagles but it would take beating both the Rams and Redskins and the Eagles losing to the Redskins and Giants.
While making the playoffs gives the Cowboys a chance to compete for the Lombardi trophy, Garrett likely needs to win two if not three playoff games to save his job. My colleague Tyrone Star examined the possibilities should Dallas make the playoffs. The likely wildcard opponent will be the loser of the NFC West – a team likely to have twelve wins whether it be Seattle or San Francisco.
So it seems safe to predict that Dallas won’t win a playoff game or even make the playoffs which almost certainly seals Garrett’s fate with the team. Jerry Jones will have no choice but to make a coaching change.
Jerry Jones has done a good job of listening to his trusted advisors. He took his son Stephen’s suggestion and drafted offensive guard Zack Martin and not make the sexy Johnny Manziel quarterback pick.
He has empowered Will McClay, the Vice President for Player Personnel, to find day three draft gems like Anthony Brown and Xavier Woods and other contributors like Blake Jarwin and Robert Quinn through undrafted free agent signings and trades. Jerry Jones does not get nearly the credit he deserves for listening to his Front Office team.
Yet, the change Cowboys Nation desperately desires is for Jerry Jones to silence his mouth. The drama that Jerry churns has been great for business – he took his $140 million dollar investment in 1989 and now owns the world’s first five billion-dollar sports franchise.
But Jones cannot see that he continues to undermine the Cowboys chances for success by hosting a weekly radio show on 105.3 The FAN, speaking to pool reporters after games and making flippant comments about contract negotiations in public.
Winning is important to Jerry Jones. He has tried unsuccessfully for 24 years to re-create the magic from the early 1990’s.
The next change he should consider is sitting back and letting his new coach speak about the team’s performance like 31 other teams in the NFL. He just might be surprised by the results.