When even USA Today slams your management decisions you know you are in trouble
Upon Further Review: Why Jerry Jones shouldn't be surprised by Cowboys' nosedive, how Pats and Eagles have rebounded
The Cowboys are left searching for answers as their playoff dreams appear to be dying, but the source of the team's problems shouldn't be a mystery.
Wilting in big moments is exactly what the Cowboys have repeatedly done this season and for much of Garrett’s tenure. Garrett hasn’t consistently called the right shots under pressure. With the division title at stake, a squad featuring a lot of nice pieces failed to play up to its potential — again.
Jones can voice frustration about his team. He can call out the coaches for failing to adequately prepare players. But truthfully, the owner has no one but himself to blame at this point.
Let’s not pretend that this is the first time Garrett seemed like he’s in over his head. Let’s not act as though this is the first time he has failed to take the Cowboys to the next level. In his 10 full seasons, his teams have posted winning records just four times, and he has only two playoff victories in five games.
But Jones opted to stick with Garrett as his head coach entering this season when he could have made a switch last offseason.
Jones made two grave miscalculations.
First, he overestimated the quality of this Cowboys roster. He thought he had a Super Bowl contender on hands. But in truth, this group is good, but not elite.
Then, Jones acted out of complacency by sticking with Garrett. Jones seemed to believe that a strong collection of players would compensate for whatever deficiencies Garrett has as a coach. But while a strong leader can put a talented team over the top, players can’t carry coaches.
Now, as the Cowboys find themselves in danger of missing the postseason altogether, Jones is paying the price. It became clear weeks ago that Garrett had to go. But the Cowboys didn’t have anyone capable of stepping in as an interim who could have done any better.