Charles Smith, NBCDFW.com
Jerry Jones accepting the WBC Man Of The Year award alongside Jose Sulaiman, president of the WBC (left) and Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank.
Well, well, well. Look at your Dallas Cowboys. They’re alive with pleasure, I tell you! They’re scoring in bunches and forcing turnovers and beating other teams up. This whole Jason Garrett thing has, thus far, proven a massive success.
Which begs the question: Why on God’s green Earth didn’t it happen sooner?
With seven losses, the Cowboys would be unlikely to get a playoff spot in a top-heavy NFC even if they were to run the table and go 9-7. But did it really require seven losses for the Double J to understand that having Wade in charge was a bad idea? Watching this team ball out for Garrett and play well even behind an aging backup QB is enough to make you wonder if Jerry wasted a season by not acting sooner, and perhaps wasted more than one season entrusting his crown jewel franchise to a puppet.
Go back and look at some of the losses this year under Wade Phillips. Three of those losses – Tennessee, Washington, and Minnesota – were the direct result of horribly timed penalties, penalties that perhaps could have been avoided had the team been under the eye of a more organized coach, like Garrett, instead of Phillips, who exuded all the authority of a 3rd grade substitute teacher. Is there a person alive who doesn’t think this team could have had a decent year with some semblance of good coaching in the first eight games? Of course not. Everyone knew the Cowboys were talented, and everyone knew they lacked anything resembling a head on their shoulders. And the sad part is, we’ve known this ever since Wade was hired. There was every reason to boot him after the 2008 season. But Jerry Jones kept him around, let him win a playoff game last year, and paid the price for it this season.
And so, because of the Double J’s late trigger finger, the Cowboys are reduced to being the NFC East spoiler this year. I’m sure they’ll notch a few more unlikely victories and even finish out somewhere near .500. And the Double J will try and sell that to you as progress, given how poorly they started out. But 8-8 is still 8-8. Those seven losses on the resume right now aren’t magically forgotten just because Jason Garrett has proven mildly competent. This season will still go down as a failure because Jerry Jones was too timid to fire a coach who let him leave his mucky fingerprints all over the team, at the expense of anything resembling good preparation. Cowboys fans will be asking themselves, "What could have been?" for a very long time.