Leadership is defined as, “the state or position of being a leader”. Regarding Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, that state or position of his fate with “America’s Team” looks to be very bleak to say the least. After starting the season 3-0, the Cowboys have dropped three straight games including Sunday’s 24-22 loss to the previously-winless New York Jets. To say he is on the hot-seat would be an understatement, because as of this morning that seat is on fire. The defining moment of yesterday’s game occurred late during the fourth quarter, when cameras caught Garrett attempting to high-five Dallas players coming off the field. The Cowboys’ players are seen leaving their coach hanging.
This is not a good sign for Garrett, whose contract is expiring after this season. Body language can tell a lot about a coach, players on a team, or an entire organization. Despite Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones admirable support for the coach, saying the issues are not entirely related to just Garrett, it’s clear that mediocrity is weighing on everyone in the Cowboys’ locker room.
“If you really look at it, you can’t take one thing. It can be a list of 15 things, with some having more of an emphasis on maybe the player, the execution, mistakes, breaks — all of those kinds of things,” Jones said according to ESPN, “Across the board, we did not play well enough to win. Had we been able to tie this thing up, or win that thing at the end, it wouldn’t be because we played well. You guys would be writing about a team that did not play well that won a game. Instead, you’re writing about [what] usually happens to you when you don’t play well.”
Despite the calls for Garrett to be fired, it’s highly unlikely the possible-dismissal will occur until after the season. Jones doesn’t have a history of firing coaches mid-season, as Wade Phillips is the only head coach ousted before finishing a season during Jones’ tenure as team owner. That season in 2010, Phillips and the Cowboys started the season 1-7, before the coach was relieved in favor of then interim Garrett.
Monday morning, Garrett appeared on Dallas’ morning radio show, 105.3 The Fan, on KRLD-FM and was asked whether or not he feels the team is still responding to his message. The coach’s comments were optimistic, despite not directly answering the question. Garrett did offer, “It’s all of our responsibility” referencing the entire Cowboys’ organization as the blame for the team’s on the field shortcomings.
On paper, the Dallas Cowboys look to be a team capable of winning a Super Bowl this season. However, injuries and questionable play-calling, along with poor situational decision-making are starting to undermine those fading aspirations. In the end, someone will take the fall. It won’t be Jones, his star running-back Ezekiel Elliot or young quarterback Dak Prescott. First year offensive-coordinator Kellen Moore will get a pass, as he is considered a talented and “up-and-coming” offensive mind in the professional ranks. Garrett, will unfortunately wind up as this season’s scapegoat. Especially, if he continues to be ignored by players as the current narrative of “losing the team” continues into the coming weeks.
Header Photo Credit: CBS Sports