Dallas Cowboys: Is Jason Garrett Any Better Than Wade Phillips as Head Coach?

Posted by & filed under Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett, Wade Phillips.

The Dallas Cowboys have not “wowed” anyone with their performance on defense, except for DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee, in 2011.

That said, you cannot ignore what the Cowboys defense has done. The defense has kept them in games in order to win games or give them an opportunity to win.

Critics can’t ask any more from the Dallas Cowboys defense. You just can’t.

At the beginning of the season, everyone was talking about how awful the defense was going to be. The defense was going to be a key reason why they would not win games in 2011. I even chimed in on that subject.

Rewind to 2010. If the Cowboys were going to get beat, it would have been because of the defense.

The success of the Cowboys on the defensive side of the ball this season is because of Rob Ryan, without a doubt.

Compared to the Cowboys defense this season, last season it seems like the defense laid down.

Why is that?

Was the Cowboys defense actually laying down?

Could  it have been the lack of production of the offense? Did the defensive players get winded because they were on the field too much, and because of hurtful turnovers on their own side of the field? Did Phillips even have a chance in 2010?

When looking at what Wade Phillips is doing in Houston, taking that team to the 10th-ranked defense in the NFL, one has to wonder what was going on in the Dallas Cowboys organization that would cause such a ruckus in 2010?

The Cowboys had the ability. So what led them into disarray in 2010?

In 2011 you can’t say the Cowboys have better talent on the defensive side of the ball than Wade Phillips has in Houston. There is no doubt; the Texans are better this season than last season. Only differences? Wade Phillips and Johnathan Joseph.

You also can’t say Phillips had a lack of discipline. A football team doesn’t become the 10th-ranked defense in the NFL if they are not disciplined. So that leads me to the players themselves.

Where was the respect for their coach from the players in 2010?

What gives in Dallas?

Why was it so difficult for the Cowboys to get wins before they fired Phillips? When you look at the Cowboys’ efforts this year, one could say that the players were a significant problem. Was it  just a lack of respect for their head coach?

Anthony Spencer pretty much said it,

“You can’t mail days in in this league,” Spencer told Dan Graziano, of  ESPN.com. “And I definitely found I was doing that last year.”

Why? Why was Spencer, and probably others, mailing it in?

In 2011, the Dallas defense doesn’t have better personnel. They may, or may not, have a better defensive coach. That can be debated.

That leads me to believe that maybe the problem could have been Jason Garrett.

Could the lack of discipline have come from Garrett? Was there was too much going on behind Phillips’s back by Garrett to try and weasel his way into the head coaching job after their slow start? Were there conversations with Jerry Jones behind Phillips’s back? Could those same conversations be going on with Rob Ryan and Jerry Jones?

You know what they say, turnaround is fair play.

So far in the 2011 season, what is any different for this Cowboys team, except they have two wins instead of only one? Oh sure, there seems to be more energy being put forth on the field, but there is still losing games they shouldn’t. When will the losses exceed the effort on the field? And then who’s fault is it, ultimately.

There was no question the Dallas Cowboys were underachieving in 2010. Trying to decipher where the problem came from is even harder.

But clearly, as an outside observer (because it is difficult for media that doesn’t have ESPN, CBS, ABC, Fox or the local media next to their name to experience first-hand knowledge of this team. It is next to impossible to actually know what is going on, so our position has to come from speculation.), we can only see what we see while at the games, or watching what little we can learn from TV.

So my speculation is that Garrett could have orchestrated this whole situation starting in 2010. Now, I am not saying that Garrett went out with the full intention of losing games in 2010, but the fact they lost could have fueled the fire, and given him that extra push to get there. But wasn’t Garrett part of the problem as well? Why did Garrett get the free line directly to the head coaching job?


When there are two guys who were “assistant head coaches”, there was bound to be disagreements on how things were done, even if Garrett was in charge of only the offense, and had nothing to do with the defense.

When Phillips was fired, there was no doubt that he had to go. Regardless, when your record is 1-6, you have to go if you are the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach.

The lockout may be the only reason why Garrett still has a job. And perhaps, just perhaps, flushing another $3 million down the drain wasn’t something Jones wanted to do.

Can’t blame him. Remember, the Cowboys already took a $9 million hit with the release of Terrell Owens. And really, who else would have been available?

Keeping Garrett on for 2011 wasn’t because of his coaching performance in 2010. Case in point: the Cardinals and Eagles games in Weeks 16 and 17 were unmitigated disasters.

If the Dallas Cowboys manage to lose to the St. Louis Rams, there is no doubt in my mind that we will hear about Garrett being on the hot seat for the rest of the 2011 season.

Don’t forget, Jones is already second-guessing Garrett’s play calling, although he had since backed down from those comments. He was right, mind you. Makes you wonder what else the good ole’ boy Jerry Jones may be thinking for the Cowboys’ future.

Remember, Jones is known for being extremely spontaneous.

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