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It’s Time for the Cowboys To Fire Jason Garrett

Garrett should be handing in his letter of resignation if he had any honor

Garrett should be handing in his letter of resignation if he had any honor

I waited patiently all week, but it appears no one else has the guts to write what needs to be written: it’s time for the Cowboys to fire Jason Garrett.

On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Detroit Lions in the first round of the playoffs. The Cowboys were the more talented team, and were favored by 6.5 points to win the game. And, despite Garrett’s best efforts, the Cowboys did manage to escape with a victory. But Garrett’s blunders nearly cost the team not once, but twice, and there’s little evidence to indicate that Garrett has learned from his mistakes.  If the Cowboys ever want to win a Super Bowl, the team needs to move on from Garrett.

Mistake #1

With just under four minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Cowboys trailed the Lions, 17-7. On 3rd and goal from the 1-yard line, Garrett called a running play for DeMarco Murray, who was stuffed by Ndamukong Suh for no gain. Given that the Lions have the best run defense in football, this isn’t too surprising.

Trailing by 10, the Cowboys obviously still needed two scores, so the correct move, of course, is to take the three points. Yet despite this being the sort of basic math that a third grader could decipher, Garrett essentially took the three points off the board and chose to go for it on 4th down.

What’s that, you say — maybe going for it isn’t so bad? I could see going for it if you put the ball in the hands of say, the number one ranked passer in the NFL, Tony Romo. Maybe he could throw it to, I dunno, Dez Bryant, who led the NFL in receiving touchdowns. But no! Garrett inexplicably called for yet another run up the middle by Murray! Just seconds after a run for Murray went for no gain! It’s as if Garrett was not even watching the game, or that he thought a different outcome could happen on another play.

As it turned out, Murray bailed out Garrett, and plunged in for the touchdown. You know the saying: better to be have the best running back in the league bail you out than to be a smart coach.

Mistake #2

With six minutes remaining — SIX — the Cowboys trailed, 20-17. Dallas had the ball on the Detroit 42-yard line, facing 4th-and-6. That’s fourth and SIX. Any coach worth his salt knows that you punt, pin your opponent, play defense, and live to fight another day. A miss here essentially ends the game and the season. A 12-4 record that ends in a one-and-done playoff berth is arguably worse than another 8-8 year, yet Garrett insanely put it all on the line for this one play.

Do you know how crazy this was? In the 2014 regular season, do you know how many times a team went for it on 4th-and-5 or greater, with more than four minutes remaining, and trailing by 3 or less (or tied, or winning)? Three — and all three were fake punts! Going for it on 4th-and-6, with six minutes left, down only three, is simply not what coaches do. It’s simply too early to start chasing first downs like that. Garrett, perhaps emboldened by getting lucky earlier, basically decided to gamble his entire team’s season on one play. Of course, Tony Romo found Jason Witten for the first down, bailing out Garrett again.

Further Proof

With 8 minutes left in the game, the Lions faced 4th-and-1 at the Dallas 46. Detroit was up by 3, so rather than give the Cowboys momentum, Jim Caldwell correctly decided to punt the ball. Well, first, he took a delay of game penalty, and then his punter shanked the punt, giving Dallas the ball at the 41-yard line.  But a coach can’t expect his special teams player to make a mistake like that, and Caldwell correctly chose not to lose the game on one play.

Some coaches just make out 4th down decisions to be more complicated than they need to be. Take Marvin Lewis. With his team underdogs on the road in Indianapolis and without nearly all of the Cincinnati’s top weapons, Lewis knew he couldn’t cost the Bengals anything with a poor decision.  With the team facing 4th-and-3 at the Colts 37-yard line in the 1st quarter, Lewis wisely called for a punt, to avoid giving Andrew Luck good field position.

Trailing 13-7 with five minutes left in the half, the Bengals faced a 4th-and-4 at midfield. Lewis wisely trotted out Kevin Huber for some more work.

Finally, with 10 minutes remaining, the Bengals faced 4th-and-10 at their own 20, trailing by 16 points.  Lewis smartly punted, knowing the easiest path to victory was to punt, quickly stop the Colts, score a touchdown, convert a two point conversion, quickly stop the Colts again, score another touchdown, and convert another two point conversion, all in 10 minutes, and then win in overtime. As bad luck would have it, Cincinnati didn’t get the ball back again until there was just 4:25 left on the clock.

It’s time for Garrett to be fired

It’s not easy to fire a coach after a win, but if ever there was a time, this was it. Lewis and Caldwell provide examples of what playoff coaches do, while Garrett showed two pretty clear examples of what not to do. Had either of those decisions backfired, there’s a good chance the media would be criticizing Garrett for the one that didn’t work, the Cowboys would have lost the game, and Garrett would be looking for a new job. Just because Garrett got lucky and his players bailed him out, does that mean Garrett shouldn’t suffer the same fate? Shouldn’t we judge the process, and not the outcome? While no one else had the guts to say it, I’ll be the first: Dallas should fire Garrett after those two calls on Sunday.

  • bja009

    I laughed the whole time. Bravo, sir.

    • Chase Stuart

      I laugh watching Jason Garrett coach, too.

    • Jchasman

      Brilliant stuff here

  • Mike Carlson

    Actually that fourth and one call wasn’t Murray up the middle at all, but off tackle stretch run,
    not bad call at all given they were thinking up middle or Dez fade

    • bill

      Um it’s a joke lol

  • jb

    I’m not familiar with this website, so I’m going to assume this is a joke. There’s an overwhelming amount of statistical evidence that Garrett made the right decision in both cases, even though coaches typically make the wrong decision in such situations. I really hope this isn’t serious…

    • J.D.

      Kudos, Chase. Well done. Will you please send this to Phil Simms?

      • Chase Stuart

        Why would I send it back to him?

  • ts

    Whenver I read stuff like this, I’m convinced I could be a sportswriter. I mean, how hard is it to be stupid?

    • Chase Stuart

      Honestly it’s not that hard.

  • is this a joke?

    • Chase Stuart

      Garrett’s coaching?

  • nick

    this is hilarious especially the comments from the people who don’t understand well done!

    • Chase Stuart

      Well done is what the temperature of Garrett’s seat should be right now tbh

  • Matt

    Looks like someone turned to trolling to drum up some exposure for a website no one has ever heard of. Just write better…

    • Chase Stuart

      To be fair, Richie has heard of it.

      • Matt

        I stand corrected

      • Richie

        How did I get dragged into this???

        • Chase Stuart

          Because you’ve heard of the site!

  • John G

    The only thing funnier than parody articles is when people don’t recognize parody articles. This should be fun.

  • l

    Lol your an idiot

    • Chase Stuart

      ur*

  • Dean

    This was written so tongue in cheek that I had to reread a couple of paragraphs to be sure. That means it kicked some serious tongue in cheek ass (although I don’t think that phrase sounds very good).

    Nice work Chase.

    Seriously, I, along with some, were wary of JG as a coach, with clock management and 4th down decisions over the years which were head scratchers. Does anyone know if he employs a strategy coach, and/or made a concerted effort to look into late game decisions? He seems, over the last 18 months, to be much better in these situations (from an EV perspective).

    Anyhow, cheers on a funny read. Enjoyable.

    Dean

    • James

      Has Jason Garrett made a concerted effort to look into late game analysis to effect his decision making? I’d say no.

      “One of the things that kept going through my mind,” Garrett said of his fourth-down decision, “is that when you get a chance to go play at the Masters, you don’t lay up. You go after it.”

  • Nathan Elingson

    This is the dumbest article I’ve ever read on the Dallas Cowboys. Jason Garrett has balls. They WON the game. Your an idiot

    • Chase Stuart

      You’re*

  • Aaron

    Even tho most people understand this is meant to be humorous and entertaining . It was still a waste of my time reading it and probably a bigger waste of time for you to write it

    • Chase Stuart

      If there was a movement to make time a flat circle . I bet Jason Garrett would go for that, too.

  • Hiro Taguchi

    Chase, you’re absolutely right. As a Head Coach in the NFL, your job is to coach “not to lose” rather than “to win” the game at any given situation. If you think about it, if you coach “not to lose”, you will keep your team in the game longer than if you coached the other way. And if your team is in the game longer, there are better chance of coming back and winning the game. More time = more chances. It’s a simple math folks. People forget that.

  • Ty

    Great article, Chase. I also find it amusing that many of the people commenting on this article can’t detect sarcasm.

  • tony

    On the #1 claim, the actual score board is 20:7 not 17:7, that’s a no brainier to go for 4th and 1. This is such armature, get the facts correct.

    • zftcg

      “On the #1 claim, the actual score board is 20:7 not 17:7, that’s a no brainier to go for 4th and 1. This is such armature, get the facts correct.”

      Are you being an armature QB?

      • tony

        zftcg, you can even spell your name. The facts is the facts. You can’t be fired because of winning games. You got be lioness lover.

        • zftcg

          What can I say? When your write, your write. I stand colorectaled.

  • Stephen

    As hilarious it is that people don’t realize this is a joke just from reading the article, it’s even funnier that people can’t even take the 20 seconds to read the comments that spell it out for them.

  • Cebren

    Couldn’t have written this any better…you left out a couple of good points though. For instance, Garrett should have put Weeden in, all he was going to do was run the ball anyway. Why risk getting Romo hurt. Also, the statistical chance of a 60+ yard field goal is much higher than converting a 4th and 6 so he should have had Bailey kick the field goal then hope for OT. If he missed then rely on defense to get the ball back.

  • Will

    The same can be said about there draft picks. Who the heck drafts a player from a small school like Notre Dame and thinks he can actually play football? Little Red is not the only person that should be fired.

  • AKH

    “Lewis smartly punted, knowing the easiest path to victory was to punt, quickly stop the Colts, score a touchdown, convert a two point conversion, quickly stop the Colts again, score another touchdown, and convert another two point conversion, all in 10 minutes, and then win in overtime.”

    There’s a scene in the original Davy Crockett movie where Davy has to sneak out of the Alamo past General Santa Ana’s troops to get a message to Sam Houston. He knows it’s a long shot, but he says, “If the moon is behind a cloud and the sentry’s asleep, I have a chance.” Luckily, he was bailed out by the moon and the sentry — on the way out and the way back in. Was he coaching like Lewis or like Garrett?

  • cgizzle

    First off alot of you making comments really never been in Garretts shoes so comparing what he did to what other coaches did is preposterous, yeah he gambled and it payed off the cowboys have the best offensive line in football and if u can’t count on the best line in football to get u 1 yard than they have no reason to be in super bowl conversations, koodos to garrett because we lived to fight again

  • Ben

    This comment section is gold. I didn’t realise a site this stat based attracted so many football idiots #WinZ

  • MP

    Short sarcasm = funny; long-winded sarcasm = tiresome. Jason Garrett is, in fact, one of the worst end of game strategists currently employed by an NFL team. The fact that he made some aggressive, probably helpful decisions is this game would have been an interesting story to write.
    The route you took here was pretty boring ultimately. It read like one of the “Batting average is everything” parody posts that baseball sites churn out every April 1st.

  • will

    Yes, I thought this was serious until the bit about Caldwell. Going for it on 4th and 6 was a fantastic call (at least for a NFL coach). Basically no downside to going for it- Lions would’ve tried to run out the clock before scoring anyways. Field position didn’t matter that much. Yet, so many coaches, like Caldwell, would’ve punted and dramatically lowered their chance to win.

  • peter parker

    I thought he should of never been the head coach to begin with and the last three years proved it.I can’t believe Jerry Jones has giving him all these chances. No coach in Cowboys history was giving all these chances

    • On the contrary, Tom Landry had six consecutive non-winning seasons to start his head coaching career. He was 25-53-4 over the course of those 82 games (a .321 W% by the rules of the time, or a .346 W% by today’s calculations).

      The fact that he went on to have 20 consecutive winning seasons with a .723 W%, five Super Bowl appearances, and two Super Bowl victories, gives you the benefit of hindsight.

      By contrast, Garrett has coached 4.5 seasons and has yet to lead a team to a losing record. The team’s mediocrity has been pretty awful to watch, but to say that Garrett has been given unprecedented opportunities is simply erroneous. The fact that Garrett is already the third longest serving coach in the team’s history suggests that maybe Jerry has finally discovered patience.

      • You cannot compare these two… Landry barely had players… on the other hand garrettkeet was handed some pretty good players… so yeah, apples and oranges dude… but hey thanks for playing!

    • PeterParkerIsClueless

      I’m reminded of all the management books that promote the warm and fuzzy that everyone should have input. I’m glad Peter is not part of the Cowboys organization.

  • Patrick

    Great read! An even better read are the people who don’t understand! If Jason Garrett coached like Marvin Lewis, he would never win a playoff game!

    • Me

      “Great read! An even better read are the people who don’t understand! If Jason Garrett coached like Marvin Lewis, he would never win a playoff game!”

      Garrett went years without winning a playoff game….now people think he’s some sort of genius or something? LOL.

  • DrP

    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as “bad luck.”

    Robert Heinlein

  • Bob

    I’m disappointed in you, Chase. You forgot to mention that the Cowboys should also cut Tony Romo, who is merely Garrett’s pet project, and trade for Johnny Manziel, because then they don’t even need a coach. Why, that Johnny Football is so good he can just coach himself!

    • He was NEVER garrettkeets ‘pet project’… he was brought in by Sean Payton and if memory serves me correctly it was the same coach that tried to get Romo away from the cowboys when he went to NO… so trust me garrettkeet couldn’t coach a college team… the man is not a HC.

  • Will

    I’d already concluded the same thing once again, a week earlier, when he left his valued offensive starters in virtually the whole non-game to end the season. Mindless, and if Romo or Murray had been reinjured, where would they be?

  • Tim Truemper

    51 comments! On a sarcastic article in which some people took seriously and made derogatory comments at Chase. One observation- seems to be an inverse correlation between problems with basic spelling and grammar skills and showing politeness.

  • Mac24

    Garrett should absolutely be done in Dallas. He has done nothing for over 6 years. Since being stripped of duties he is a glorified cheerleader. Linehan wants out and Merinelli is heading to warmer and more accommodating conditions with Lovie as he should. You will need a real head coach.

  • The new leader in the 2015 clubhouse -#Hot Sports Take

  • I couldn’t agree more.
    1. They basically took garrettkeet’s job responsibilities away from him and gave them to 2 former HC’s.. because he’s proven he can’t do his job. Sooooooooo instead of riding them into the playoffs ‘the coach’ suddenly decides to put his mark on this team in the playoffs and what happens? The team suddenly looks exactly like they did when he was ‘in charge’…

    2. The man has NO idea and has NOT learned a thing from his past mistakes…as he has shown in this game he continues to make them over and over again.

    3. ANYONE and I mean ANYONE who thinks he has any say or authority with this team has not been watching them for the last 19 years… Al Davis Jr clearly will NOT let anyone other then himself be in charge… he LOVES the faithful that just hang on his every word.. and just buy into what he says… it’s made him a VERY rich man yet after 19 years of laughable football they continue to just believe… ‘next year’..

    These are just a few points… I could do this all day and anyone that knows football could do the same….. The I love garrett fan club are also the same people that will be screaming and blaming everyone else when it doesn’t work out…

  • Jesse Propotnick

    I am tired of Jason Garrett making the bad calls. Even when he was the offensive coordinator he made the WRONG calls. Remember the time he was the OC against the Minnesota Vikings and Wade Philips was the head coach? He did not attack the injury depleted back end of the defense. Even the Vikings were shocked that he did not attack them there. Some may claim he did it on purpose to place Philips further on the hot seat as he was on the verge of being fired. But some may claim he was just simply making ridiculous play calls. Fast forward to the last playoff game where he chose to pass on an obvious running down especially with Zeke on his roster. Even with his stacked roster he could no beat a depleted Packers team. Time for Garrett to go!