What are friends for

After the Cowboys dismal 2018 season opener, a friend who knows I’m a life-long fan semi-jokingly said…

As a Dallas fan, you must have loved the School of Rock movie. The one where actor Jack Black says, “those who can’t do, teach — those who can’t teach, teach gym”. Substitute the word coach for teach and football for gym then add “ in Dallas ” and you have the Cowboys.

For good measure, he added, “as it turns out, quoting great leaders doesn’t actually make you one any more than backing up Troy Aikman makes you a legendary quarterback”. Ouch!

Pride insisted I say, not so fast Buster! Then to gather facts, I pulled up https://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/GarrJa0.htm, a web page that succinctly depicts Coach Garret’s tenure as a head coach. After scanning the statistics I recalled a heartfelt quote from Bill Parcells — “you are what your record says you are.” In this case, it says Jason Garret has won 55% of his regular season games, has only one playoff victory and zero Superbowl appearances in eight-plus years. In an unambiguous fashion, that cleared up any confusion I had on his track record.

If you’re a fan of the coach, you’re probably planning a retort. It will likely include a bit of justifying, blame shifting and outright denying. I can’t fault you for that, he’s a likable guy. But the thing is, over time enough data can be amassed to illuminate the most significant common factor in any string of 54 failures. The historical record is eventually detailed and verbose enough to exclaim that cutting, firing, hiring, or riding another player into retirement empty handed just won’t fix the performance of the team. Not now; probably not ever. At least not with the same common factor.

I believe Coach Garret is a good man, one with pedigree and honor. I believe he gives all he has when he competes, and his academic history speaks to his intellect. He genuinely believes in the traits he espouses to his team daily — namely those on character and accountability. It’s because I believe these things about him that I also think this will be his last year as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

He knows the world only produces so many men with talent comparable to Tony Romo, Jason Witten or perhaps even Dez Bryant. He knows some of these warriors have sacrificed their bodies fighting for him. He knows he’s had an incredible opportunity roaming the star-laden hallowed halls of Dallas.

I don’t expect him to cling on long enough to force the Jones family to ask for his resignation. They’ve treated him like family. After so many chances, why subject them to that?

Men who have what it takes to become head coach of the Dallas Cowboys generally understand honor. The warrior in them also knows when it’s time to fall on the grenade and save the team.

If JG is the guy I think he is, I salute and wish him well in his future endeavors.