I’m going to shock some of you out there by repeating what I said Thursday night as the Cowboys were beating the Bears: Jason Garrett has earned a new contract.
I tweeted it and many Cowboys fans didn’t like it one bit as the Dallas Cowboys head coach was on his way to recording nine wins with three games left in the season.
This was my exact tweet:
Hello 9 wins Jason Garrett. That man has earned a contract extension. #Cowboys — Newy Scruggs (@newyscruggs) December 5, 2014
That deserves … no … that is Garrett earning a new contract as the Dallas Cowboys head coach.
My twitter followers hit me back with disgust and questioned how can I support this considering Garrett had yet to make the playoffs. Others chimed in proclaiming a Cowboys playoff win had to be secured before giving Garrett any form of security to come back as the head coach in 2015.
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I am on record as saying Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones should have run Garrett after his third straight 8-8 season. After all, Jones fired Wade Phillips, who delivered a playoff win, for less. I didn’t understand why the coaching bar for America’s Team had be lowered for Garrett.
Should I remind the Cowboys Nation that most predicted the 2014 club would not finish with a winning record?
I said on NBC 5 and on my NBC Sports Radio show Voices of the Game the Cowboys would be 6-10. I’m not alone on that either.
Others who agreed with my 6-10 take were Dallas Morning News writers Rick Gosselin, Brandon George, David Moore and Rainer Sabin. DMN columnist Tim Cowlishaw called for a 5-11 season. The website Bleacher Report had Dallas finishing 7-9. NFL Network analysts served up these prognostications: Steve Mariucci 8-8, Warren Sapp 8-8, Mike Silver 9-7. Star-Telegram Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill, who has covered the team since 1997, went with a 7-9 record. David Helman, who writes for dallascowboys.com, the club’s own website, predicted 6-10 and a third-place finish in the NFC East.
So all of these smart football aficionados predicted gloom and doom and Garrett has outperformed expectations by three victories in most cases. Folks, that is earning a new contract.
This is the last year of Garrett’s deal and it was clear he need a winning season to come back. He’s surpassed the expectations the media set in training camp.
Some fans are in denial about the owner's affinity for his head coach. Jones has invested his time and patience and wants Garrett to succeed. That’s why he didn’t jettison him after three consecutive 8-8 finishes that all ended with his Cowboys losing NFC East title games to every team in the division on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in the last game of the season. The owner gets to say to his critics, “I told you so. I believed in my head coach when so many of you did not.”
So you better believe Garrett will be coaching in Dallas if he wants to past 2014. No way Jones doesn’t offer him a new deal.
As a free agent, Garrett could decide to coach for another NFL team. He’s a former New York Giant and I expect them to replace Tom Coughlin after the season. The Raiders' job is open. The Jets could let go of Rex Ryan. Mike Smith will be canned in Atlanta. The Falcons offered Garrett the job before hiring Smith. The 49ers management and Jim Harbaugh reportedly will divorce after the season and who knows what will happen to head coach Joe Philbin in Miami if the Dolphins don’t make the playoffs.
I’m just telling it like it is when it comes to Garrett. I expect him to finish the season with 10 wins because I believe they will defeat Washington in the final game of the season.
Why change head coaches when the Cowboys finally have an identity on offense?
DeMarco Murray is on pace for a 2,000 yard rushing season. The offensive line is one of the best in the game. Tony Romo is playing stellar at quarterback despite battling injuries. Garrett’s hand-picked choice of Scott Linehan as his offensive coordinator has been outstanding. The defense that looked subpar in training camp has been anything but under new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. Teams winning consistently each year in the NFL are not constantly changing coaches.
Have fans forgotten the Cowboys thumping of the Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle back in October? They shouldn’t. Garrett out-coached Pete Carroll. He also beat Super Bowl winning coaches Tom Coughlin and Sean Payton this season.
Will 10 victories get Dallas into the playoffs? It may not. Last year Arizona finished 10-6 and missed the postseason.
Only one guy I know predicted Dallas to be 10-6. That was Peter Schrager of Fox Sports 1. So that’s Pete and Jerry Jones who had faith in the Cowboys having a winning season.
That is my argument of why Garrett has earned a new contract. He earned it.