Like so many former Dallas Cowboys, Jimmy Johnson is not happy with the current product.
The ex-Dallas coach-turned-Fox Sports analyst previously put the team in his crosshairs, critiquing the laissez-faire culture allowing inmates to run the $5.5 billion asylum. Back in 2012, Johnson sounded off about the Cowboys on ‘The Dan Patrick Show.’
“The No. 1 motivator is fear. Fear of letting down your teammates, being embarrassed or fear of losing the job. Where is the fear in Dallas? There’s no fear in Dallas. It’s a country club where everybody is buddies,” Johnson said.
Of course, this culture is now harbored by head coach Jason Garrett, whose passivity has reached meme-level proportions. With nobody to whip the Cowboys into shape, The Star more closely resembles Club Med.
Garrett resides on the hottest of coaching seats, his contract set to expire after the season, and there’s a better-than-good chance he’s replaced in 2020. Johnson, though, hopes it’s a certainty, strongly urging the Cowboys to find a new leader of men no matter what transpires.
“I don’t think so,” Johnson said Sunday of Garrett returning to the Cowboys, per Yahoo Sports. “I think even if they win the division and even if they’re in the playoffs — I don’t see them winning a playoff game — and I think the negativity in Dallas and around the Cowboys right now, it would be miserable if he continued to be the head coach.
“Nobody would be happy if he continued to be the head coach a year from now.”
Garrett has hinted at lineup changes heading into their Week 15 game against the Rams. So that may take care of the fear factor. But nothing — perhaps not even a sudden turnaround — can aid his tenuous job status.
At this point, The Clapper’s ouster is fait accompli.
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Troy Aikman Rips Jerry Jones, Defends Garrett
As mentioned, a slew of Cowboys legends have emerged from the woodwork to air their thoughts on the franchise, which again has severely underachieved despite spending millions on its championship-caliber roster.
Troy Aikman, for example, adopted a contrarian viewpoint on Dallas’ hierarchy and its underlying flaws. Whereas most blame coach Jason Garrett for squandering a championship-level roster, the Hall of Fame quarterback puts the onus squarely on owner Jerry Jones, the common denominator from the Cowboys’ glory days to its present-day reputation as a middling club — a span of nearly three decades, long preceding Garrett.
“I’m not worried about Jason Garrett. He’ll be just fine, and I think he’s proven the quality of the person he is and also the way he is as a head coach,” he said earlier this month, per NBCDFW.com. “There’s a lot to this job, there’s a lot to have to overcome. It’s not run traditionally the way most other organizations are. I think that’s to the detriment of the Cowboys.”
“I don’t think you can look at three playoff wins in the last 25 years and surmise that all of the problems over that time have been a result of coaching,” he said. “I think you have to look at the top, and say, ‘how we are doing it from the top’? I think businesses do that. I think organizations, I think anyone worth their salt evaluate it from the top down. And just simply changing the coaching, you know, I don’t know if the results would be all that much different.”
Garrett Reportedly Unlikely to Return
On Sunday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport continued peddling the narrative that Garrett’s saving grace lies in a “deep” playoff run — NFC Championship game or bust. Falling short of that would ensure he’s not rewarded with a new contract by the Joneses.
“It does appear to be heading to a divorce,” Rapoport said. “The only way from what I understand Jason Garrett could save [his job] is make the playoffs, go deep into the playoffs, most likely to the NFC title game.”
Jerry Jones, in a recent radio interview, denied speaking with potential head-coaching candidates, including former Ohio State HC Urban Meyer, the reported frontrunner to succeed Garrett.
“That’s not correct. I can confirm that it is absolutely, not correct,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, per the Dallas Morning News. “We have not met with any coach, not met with any. Specifically, why in answering that question I don’t want to imply that we wouldn’t, in a way that would diminish the credibility of, in this case, a player or somebody you’re asking about. Normally when somebody says, ‘have you met with such and such, are you interested in such and such’ and you say ‘I have not,’ its implication is you’re not interested. That shouldn’t be brought forward either. The facts are we just have not talked to any coach, potential coach in the NFL.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL