Here We Go Again. The Dallas Cowboys are Better Than This.
I have been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys for as long as I can remember. Long enough to remember when an oilman from Arkansas came in and bought America's Team. Long enough to remember the gasp when that oilman fired one of the most beloved coaches in all of sports. Long enough to remember "the trade" that helped bring in Emmitt Smith, among others. Long enough to remember how a large ego got in the way of an NFL dynasty that would not have been matched after winning two straight Superbowls.
Even with a Superbowl win a couple of years after that firing, that's when the downfall began. Coach after coach came in only to be handcuffed in some way. Great players were added but never lived up their reputation. In other words, it's been a 20 plus year disappointment for Dallas Cowboys fans.
I am a diehard fan. I will defend my team till I turn blue in the face. The one thing I will not say is that "We're going to the Superbowl!" at the beginning of every year. On paper, the Dallas Cowboys of the last couple of years are a Superbowl winning team. But yet, there just seems to be no fire underneath this team. No sense of urgency to get that big win.
It all starts with head coach Jason Garrett. Garrett was the backup for a few years behind Troy Aikman in the 90's. His most memorable game was a huge Thanksgiving win against the Packers in 1994. After Garrett finished his playing career, he worked his way up to becoming an offensive coordinator. Eventually, he joined the Cowboys staff and took over as head coach for the fired Wade Phillips in 2010.
Garrett was decent as head coach for the first few seasons, three of those seasons in a row produced and 8-8 record. He should have been fired after that. But he was given an extension and has helped in taking the Cowboys to the playoffs recently, only to get just a couple of playoff wins out of it.
This season, though, Garrett looks completely uninterested in being on the sideline. There is no expression on his face, there is hardly any of his clapping after every play, there is no passion on the sideline to get his team motivated. I'm wondering, too, if the players have any faith in Garrett anymore.
The Cowboys are 6-5 this season. Four of those losses (Vikings, Packers, Patriots, Saints) are against teams most certainly headed for the playoffs. The fifth loss was against the pitiful New York Jets. The wins are against teams that are not good, including in their own division, the NFC East.
As a fan, I'm tired of the disappointment. As a fan, I want to see these excellent players living up to their expectations and talent. As a fan, I want to see the head coach getting in their face and putting a fire under their ass to compete and win. The 20 year dynasty that is the New England Patriots was the opponent Sunday. The Patriots are vulnerable this season. The Cowboys could have, and should have, won that game yesterday. But there was no passion to do so.
Watching ESPN's First Take this morning, Steven A. Smith reiterated what I told a co-worker earlier, Garrett needs to be fired today and Kris Richard moved up to head coach. Smith's debate partner, Max Kellerman, talked about Jerry Jones' ego getting in the way of a Superbowl run. Max is right, too. Jones needs to bring in a coach and then get the hell out of his way. Let the coach be a coach. Stop being the football god that you think you are Jerry, because you're not. Stop being a narcissistic, spotlight stealer and be an owner. Just the guy in the box watching each Sunday.
I was a senior in high school the last time the Dallas Cowboys won a Superbowl. I want to see that winning again out of my favorite football team. That team exists right now. Every piece of the puzzle is in place. The problem, there is no leadership to make it happen, from the luxury box to the practice field. Get over your ego Jerry Jones and make it happen. Otherwise, you'll be the most popular disappointing team in the history of sports.