Over the years as Cowboys Nation has been clamoring for the head of anyone coaching the Dallas Cowboys I always had one thing stopping me from agreeing with them in regards to Jason Garrett. His teams always played HARD for him. Down to the last whistle, his players left it all on the field. Sure they were over-matched, but they fought. They fought hard, they never ever gave up.
The last game of the season in 2011 the Cowboys got their collective rears handed to them by the Giants losing 14-31 in an 8-8 season. They played with everything they had till the final second. In 2012 it was much the same in losing to the Redskins 18-28 in another 8-8 season. The Cowboys were not the better team. They played with everything they had and I felt good about their prospects. A 2013 season-ending loss to the Eagles (24-22) was heart-breaking but the 8-8 club gave you hope. They were in the game until the final moment and man they played tough. The 8-8 thing was really starting to grind, however.
Then the big swings started. 12-4 season followed by a 4-12, then 13-3 followed by a 9-7, then a 10-6! Every year, in the final loss, the club never gave up. You could see the fight in their hear in their eyes and their never-give-up play on the field. Sure they still gave up mind-numbing penalties BUT they always went down swinging. Until this season.
This season the Cowboys are in first place in the NFC East and, by everything I can see with these eyes, have already packed it in. I saw glimpses of it when they lost to the Packers 34-24. Again against the Saints, then the Jets. At the end of each of those games, the "fight" I had always admired was not there for me to see. They played hard, but not as one. Not as a team who took on all challenges as a family.
In the Loss to the Lions, it became more evident as in the 4th quarter you could see players shrugging, looking around after a bad play as if to say "not on me" rather than looking for a way to fix the issue. In the close loss to the Patriots more of the same in the 4th. Something I had not witnessed in the last 9 years. Against both the Bills and the Bears you could see it by half time. Players on offense mailing it in. Players on defense so disgusted with the results on the field they push forward as an individual versus someone fighting for their brother. Witten is seen on the sideline not leading or challenging the troops but highly frustrated and lashing out. The last bus is leaving the parking lot and players and coaches alike are trying to get their seat arrangements all figured out.
I always thought Jason Garrett was a great pick for the Cowboys because he could co-exist with Jerry Jones's ego. That doesn't work when the team has lost its belief in the man's vision. The Dallas Cowboys have quit on their head coach. It's time for a change. Sooner, better than later.
— Steven Van Over (@StevenVanOver) December 6, 2019
Another Left Coast Sports Post