I think the biggest atrocity of last year’s Cowboys success was Jason Garrett getting coach of the year. Jason Garrett sucks. Jason Garrett has always sucked. He lucked into a great draft pick thanks to Romo’s injury, and then lucked into a 4th round pick that also happened to solve a QB problem. Those two talents, working together with a stud of an O-line and an overachieving defense led the Cowboys to remarkable success, and Garrett deserved none of the credit. When Romo went down Dak wasn’t even going to start, Kellen Moore was. Kellen Moore getting hurt is the only reason Dak saw any real time, and this was after the Cowboys apparently tried to trade for Josh McCown. Garrett deserves none of the credit for getting Dak out there and making the team work without Romo. The Cowboys were atrocious without Romo the year prior. Dak and Zeke turned that team around and Garrett getting honored for that was a joke. Garrett sucks.

Actually, maybe that’s simultaneously too harsh and too soft. Garrett isn’t a bad coach. What he is might be even worse. Jason Garrett is mediocre. Bad coaches get exposed pretty fast and usually don’t last long unless they are named Gus Bradley. Mediocre coaches do just well enough to stick around making people think they’ll improve, and if they do, it’s usually because they managed to find a top talent to lift the team a bit. Like a Zeke.

The Cowboys have had a lot of great talent in Garrett’s tenure. Romo was a top 10 QB if not better most of his tenure. Jason Witten is a future hall of fame tight end. Sean Lee is fantastic. Dez Bryant was a top 5 WR talent for several years. Demarcus Ware was on the team for the first several years in Garrett’s tenure. The Cowboys have had a top o-line for years now. This is a team that should have been perpetually in the playoffs and yet kept going 8-8 and have a mere 1 playoff victory (wildcard round) in Garrett’s tenure. The talent on the Boys has always frightened me. The coaching staff has never frightened me. I watched Jason Garrett ice his own kicker once. It’s hard to fear a man after that.

Top coaches take top talent to high success, and get something manageable from mediocre to bad talent. EX- Belichick, Carroll, Zimmer, Reid
Mediocre coaches find success with talent, and struggle without it. Ex- Garrett, Jack Del Rio, Mike Mularkey, Mike McCarthy, Marvin Lewis
Bad coaches drag down even top talents into a pit of despair. Ex -Ben McAdoo, Chuck Pagano

The Cowboys aren’t necessarily stupid for keeping Garrett on this long. The problem with mediocre coaches is that most are mediocre, and you can never really tell if the coach will evolve into a good one (like Ron Rivera) or just waste away into a bad coach after being employed for far too long, like Garrett appears to be doing. I haven’t seen much improvement by Garrett over these past few seasons and the fact that the team is right back in the hole after losing Zeke for 3 games doesn’t speak well to him. I kind of like seeing him get exposed like this, even though I want him to stay employed for bias reasons. The Cowboys have some issues but they shouldn’t look this bad without one player, no matter the caliber of player. That’s on the coach.

I think Dak will be okay. He’s looked terrible for 3 weeks and generally worse this season, but I think last season was an over-achievement and he’s still good and will probably develop nicely. Dak was so difficult to discuss last year because it really was impossible to tell how much of it was him and how much of it was his extremely favorable situation. Zeke was far easier to see as a true star, Dak played very well but stayed a mystery. Now the team is a little bit worse, facing a tougher schedule, and is missing Zeke for a bit, which shines more light on Dak as a flawed but probably still capable QB.

In case anyone is interested, here are my opinions on current coaches:
Godly – Belichick
Good – Mike Zimmer, Andy Reid (despite the last month I think he’s still good), Pete Carroll, Ron Rivera, Mike Tomlin
Probably good – Doug Pederson, Jay Gruden, Sean Payton, Dan Quinn, Bill O’Brien, Bruce Arians, John Harbaugh
Mediocre – Jason Garrett, Jack Del Rio, Mike Mularkey, Doug Marrone, Marvin Lewis, Mike McCarthy, Jim Caldwell
Bad – Ben McAdoo, Chuck Pagano, John Fox, Todd Bowles, Dirk Koetter, probably Adam Gase
Too early to tell – Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, Sean McDermott, Vance Joseph (He’s probably bad tho), Anthony Lynn
Doomed to fail – *Insert Browns coach here*

I look forward to Jason Garrett staying employed.