Jason Garrett won the NFL Coach of the Year award last season, but former NFL executive Mike Lombardi isn’t sold the Dallas Cowboys head coach is going to survive the 2017 season.
Lombardi, a staffer on the New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX championship team, is now a media member and ripped Garrett’s coaching ability in his podcast. He started by talking about a point I think is legitimate in questioning why hasn’t he been better in his tenure as the leader of America’s Team. His overall record is a winning one at 58-46, but he's only produced two winning seasons.
“Jason Garrett been a head coach for six years. He’s 50 years old. He’s going to be 51 next year. He should be in the prime of his head coaching career," Lombardi said. “Instead, he’s made two playoffs. I mean he goes 12-4. Then he goes 13-3 last year and he loses at home to a bad Green Bay defense.”
Lombardi, who’s last NFL job was as GM of the Cleveland Browns, wonders what Garrett does since he doesn’t call plays.
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“I don’t see Jason besides clapping and cheering players," he said. "Losing to Green Bay was a revealing loss in this sense. It showed that his team wasn’t ready to play and couldn’t play a different style.”
Let me take up for Garrett on that. He used to call plays when he took over, but owner Jerry Jones wanted him to give up the playcalling duties. Even former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson said it would serve Garrett better to give up the playcalling.
Lombardi is spot on about the Green Bay playoff loss at JerryWorld. Dallas wasn't ready for that game despite have a bye as the top seed in the NFC playoffs. The Cowboys were down 21-3 in the second quarter before tying the game at 31 with 35 seconds to play.
The skewering of the Cowboys head coaching continued as Lombardi raised the point of the Jones family possibly tossing Garrett overboard for a former Cowboys assistant coach in 2018.
“If I’m a Cowboys fan, I have real questions about Jason Garrett as the head coach," Lombardi said. "He’s supposed to be in the prime, he’s had six years to be a head coach. He was an offensive guru that never had a lot of roo in his goo. He was never really never this innovator offensive guy."
Lombardi added that while the 2016 Cowboys were very good, he expects a dropoff in 2017. And if this year's team underachieves in the playoffs again, Garrett should watch his back.
"I think head coaches make a huge difference come playoff time and Garrett has won one playoff game in his six year career. If I’m Jerry I’m nervous," Lombardi said. "The guy that’s always lurking, he’s always around the corner is Sean Payton.”
But wait, there is more. Lombardi backed up the truck and ran Garrett over again.
“When you watch Jason Garrett coach, you really never sense he’s got control of the game. He’s subcontracted everything out. [Rod] Marinelli does the defense. [Scott] Linehan does the offense. [Rich] Bisaccia does the kicking game. I just don’t get the sense this guy’s command of the game and that’s really where the head coach needs to be.”
But wait, there is still more. Lombardi had this swipe of Garrett’s ability to get improve at his craft.
“I don’t see how Jason Garrett’s going to get better," he said. "He’s in the prime of his life and I don’t think he’s a good enough head coach.”
And the encore from Lombardi his desire to watch Garrett’s Cowboys this fall.
“I’m excited to see is Jason Garrett going to be the .500 coach I think he is or if has he done something this summer to really improve himself," he said. "I say the latter. I say he’s going to be a .500 coach.”