As far as Jason Whitlock is concerned, Jason Garrett’s coaching for his professional life in the weeks ahead.
The Fox Sports 1 hot-take artist, appearing Tuesday on Speak for Yourself, argued that Dallas Cowboys czar Jerry Jones could — and should — fire Garrett mid-season if the team’s record does not match the collective dollars Jones has poured into it.
“If the results that he’s looking for aren’t there, I do think he would make a move on Jason Garrett,” Whitlock said. “It’s because Jerry wants what he feels like he paid for and is paying for. He wants a Super Bowl this year. He feels he’s built a Super Bowl team. He wants it this year. Not next year — he doesn’t want to come close this year. He wants to be playing in the Super Bowl this year because that’s what he feels like he’s paid for. He is not happy to concede, ‘They have a better coach than me.’ Jerry is a billionaire and, ‘Oh, you got something better than me? I’m going to go buy something better than you.'”
Whitlock’s pronouncement comes on the heels of Dallas’ first loss, which, although indisputably disappointing, is hardly the barometer for the 2019 Super Bowl-or-bust outfit.
The nature of the business, and sports media: Garrett was being hailed amid the three-game winning streak to open the year; now he’s being panned for a single loss.
The 3-1 Cowboys host the 3-1 Green Bay Packers on Sunday, in an opportunity for Garrett to extend a proverbial leash that some like Whitlock believe is increasingly short.
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Jerry Puts Kellen Moore on ‘Hottest Seat’
The Cowboys’ owner/general manager presumably pointed a finger at Garrett (more on that in a bit) following their Week 4 defeat at the Superdome. But he also turned the tables on rookie offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, reminding the fresh-faced 31-year-old that the NFL truly stands for Not For Long — especially at his position.
“The hottest seat, the one that is more likely to have the most criticism, is the offensive coordinator in the NFL,” Jones explained, per Jon Machota of The Athletic. “It’s the hottest seat in the business. Boy, when it doesn’t work and you don’t get the win, then get ready, they’re going to be coming for you as a coordinator. Kellen knows this. His head coach knows it. I know it. That still doesn’t mean now that you don’t come in there and improve on how you got ready to play. That game that we played against the Rams (in the playoffs) last year changed a lot of things for us, that’s when we decided that we wanted to do some of the things you’re seeing right now. It was that Rams game. You’re supposed to make adjustments when you don’t get it done.”
The Cowboys’ issues ran a lot deeper than one play or person, however. Take into consideration the many factors that acted as catalysts:
- Superstar running back Ezekiel Elliott committed a (highly questionable) fumble and averaged roughly two yards per carry.
- Franchise quarterback Dak Prescott was held without a TD while tossing an interception.
- The offensive line created little push, consistently blown off the ball despite owning a massive talent advantage.
- Dallas logged just 257 scrimmage yards; they were 4-for-11 on third downs and held the ball for only 23:56.
- The Cowboys lost to a team down its Hall of Fame quarterback and allowed the Saints to beat them without crossing the goal line.
But the blame starts at the top, and the crap rolls downhill, collecting at Garrett’s feet, Jones strongly indicated in a radio interview after the game.
“Obviously we’re very disappointed. … Let’s give them some credit. Their defense was the biggest concern for me coming in. They did a great job. They won a hard fought game. But they won it with a good scheme, good coaching,” Jones said, via The Athletic.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL