DALLAS - Bill Parcells ingrained it into our brains. You are what your record says you are.
I'm no fancy big city lawyer. I'm not even one with a mall office. Yet as the season progresses and another promising year implodes like the Georgia Dome, the case for a change in management seems to get easier and easier to make. The simplest reason was brought up by the man himself.
"It's all in front of us. It's just a matter of what we want to do with it. We can be anywhere from 11-5 to 5-11 and anywhere in between." Jason Garrett told the media after Philadelphia blew them out at home.
The Dallas Cowboys record stands at five hundred with 6 games left. The team can run the gauntlet and finish with 11 wins, or they can say hi to Dave Campo's old friend, 5-11.
If they split the remaining games, the Cowboys will finish 8-8 for the fourth time in Garrett's seven full seasons as Head Coach.
Tom Landry was let go in Jerry's first flirtation with controversy for winning a combined seventeen games in his last three seasons and because the new owner wanted to show who was boss. The clout of going to five Super Bowls and winning two wasn't enough to keep his job, one he held since the team's inception in 1960. It was 1988, and as successful as Landry had been, a change of scenery was deemed necessary.
Jerry's next coach won two super bowls, set the next coach up for another one with a loaded roster, but wore out his welcome for getting too much perceived credit on building the best team of the 90's.
Barry Switzer may have finished a meal with Jimmy Johnson's groceries, but he still holds the Cowboys highest winning percentage ever for a Head Coach, just like he does at Oklahoma.
Chan Gailey was fired after two seasons and two playoff appearances. Merely making the playoffs wasn't up to par with the job at that point.
All around good guy Dave Campo was given a shot next, after being a loyal employee since Johnson first came in. He was a Jerry guy, which resulted in being given a longer leash than expected. Still, after three straight 5 win seasons, even a company guy has to go for the sake of competitiveness.
The in-house guys weren't cutting it, and Jones went with a big name again. Bill Parcells came in and built the nucleus that would be the Cowboys of the late 2000's. Parcells and Jones clashed because of course they did.
Two Alphas playing tug of war and the most valuable franchise in sports was the rope.
Parcells had an expiration date. He was here to bring relevance back to a stagnant brand and to ensure Texas Stadium was a relic of the past.
Parcells had no problems bringing in new blood over "his guys" if it meant the team would be better off. He replaced Drew Bledsoe mid-way through his last year with a then unknown Tony Romo, a guy he plucked out of undrafted free agency three years prior. Still, the power struggle came to be too much of a headache, and he bounced out of Dallas, leaving a strong roster intact for his replacement.
After dealing with such a strong persona, Jones brought in Wade Phillips, known for his defensive prowess as well as his laid back demeanor. He was a solid hire, but it was obvious Jones had resumed his position as top football man.
Before Wade was brought in as Head Coach, Jason Garrett had already been hired to serve "in some capacity". How could one ignore the fact that Garrett was hired before Phillips was? Regardless of the sell job, Phillips had been undercut from the beginning.
Wade Phillips was fired in the middle of his fourth year and replaced with Garrett, after posting seasons of 13, 9, and 11 wins and two playoff appearances. Some around town were ecstatic that he won a Super Bowl with Denver later on with former franchise man Demarcus Ware, after being let go unceremoniously in favor of the preferred understudy.
One more time for the people in the back.
If the Cowboys split their remaining games, they will finish 8-8 for the fourth time in Garrett's seven full seasons as Head Coach.
Two of those seasons had double digit wins, 2014 which got him a contract extension, and 2016 which got him coach of the year.
It's not his fault Elliott got suspended. It's not his fault that Sean Lee can't stay on the field, or that Tyron Smith and Dan Bailey have missed significant time. Clock management? Finishing the fight? There's a conversation to be had.
Outside of his android persona with the media, Garrett seems like a likeable guy. So was Phillips. Likeability shouldn't guarantee your job if the results are mediocre. It sure doesn't in any other field.
The lack of coaching turnover may give the impression that wildcatter Jerry is long gone, but recent events say otherwise. He never left, he just got real good at hiding it.
There won't be a change in Head Coach for the Cowboys because Jerry simply said there won't be. As we have seen in other organizations, including this one a long time ago, even Super Bowl winning Head Coaches get run out of town when an obvious change of scenery is needed.
Usual trends don't apply at the Star anymore.
The Jones family seems to want that as much as they want some shade for the afternoon games. He's a part of the Cowboys "family", and as such, it is obvious that he was selected for the long haul and has a leash as long as those tickets keep selling out, clock management issues be damned.
Do you think Jason Garrett is the man who will lead the Cowboys to their next Super Bowl win or is it time for Dallas to bring in a new head coach? Share your thoughts with Irvin on Twitter @twittirv.
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