After Sunday’s disappointing playoff loss to the 49ers, right here’s an fascinating query that Jerry Jones is probably going asking himself internally and fielding from these in his internal circle: What are we going to do about the offensive and defensive coordinators who have interviews lined up with virtually each group with a head teaching emptiness? And what are we going to do about the present head coach, who, earlier than the set up of stated defensive coordinator and the drafting of a generational defensive prospect, was a little bit of a disappointment?
You would possibly give you the option to name this Jerry’s Dilemma as a result of it’s not a melodrama unfamiliar to the Cowboys. At one time, Jason Garrett was a rising star throughout the group. Terrified of dropping Garrett, Jones put in him because the interim head coach on the expense of Wade Phillips. Garrett went on to compile an 85–67 file with two playoff victories. He was let go to rent Mike McCarthy and, extra just lately, was let go because the offensive coordinator of the Giants.
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Now, Jones is Kellen Moore, a 33-year-old coordinator who’s the closest factor in the marketplace to a coach whom house owners would possibly place into the Sean McVay class (whereas we’re not calling Moore Sean McVay, we’re recognizing that house owners sometimes slop coaches into teams, and Moore is a younger, rising offensive coordinator). He’s Dan Quinn, a coach who has been to a Tremendous Bowl and has radically remodeled this Dallas protection, breaking out of his Cowl 3 shell to set up one thing actually distinctive and efficient. This teaching cycle, individuals with data of the method have pointed to a desire by these in hiring positions for extra skilled coaches, even perhaps an urge for food for profitable second-chance coaches. One, or each, will not be there subsequent yr, until Jones makes certainly one of them the pinnacle coach now.
Whereas the 49ers playoff recreation was not a wonderful efficiency by any coordinator, one recreation will not be essentially going to form the notion of them within the eyes of a hiring supervisor. However what about within the eyes of Jones, who has grow to be so determined—and so legitimately shut from a personnel standpoint—for one more Tremendous Bowl championship in his lifetime that he’s taken to head attempting to find anybody who has come inside sniffing distance of a Lombardi trophy? The hiring of McCarthy couldn’t have been a clearer sign that Jones was completed going the developmental route and entrusting his star-studded roster into the arms of somebody who might push it ahead. McCarthy’s efficiency on Sunday, which included signing his identify on a scorecard that includes a postseason, franchise-record-tying 14 penalties, was a transparent invitation for Jones to revisit that call. Pretty or unfairly, Jones is a follower of narratives, and McCarthy spent the higher a part of 60 minutes on the published wilting below a white-hot solar. A freewheeling, tackle-happy referee slugging the franchise quarterback as time expired could not save him from scrutiny.
Whereas skinny at some spots, the Cowboys are the primary unit in NFL historical past to concurrently carry a 4,000-plus yard quarterback, a 1,000-plus yard working again, a 1,000-plus yard vast receiver, a cornerback with 10-plus interceptions and a go rusher with 10-plus sacks. Personnel head Will McClay has painted a masterpiece, one which Jones is salivating over the opportunity of advertising. One other first-round playoff loss maintaining his huge billion-dollar turfed spaceship vacant for the remainder of the winter is a cringeworthy prospect for the proprietor, who was proven nervously recoiling in his non-public sales space a number of instances all through the night time.
This isn’t an advocation for McCarthy’s firing by any stretch. Sunday’s recreation was an absolute twister of nonsense, some that might be straight attributed to the coach and a few of it left to a set of soccer gods who appear steadfastly invested in stopping the Cowboys from a critical playoff run. However it’s a name for frequent sense.
Jones’s days of pragmatism are sporting skinny. He exited the Tony Romo period, a stretch of soccer with a borderline Corridor of Fame quarterback and arguably one of the best offensive line of the final decade, with out a journey to the convention championship recreation. His group stumbled, blessedly, into the Dak Prescott period and aligned the Professional Bowler with two of one of the best receivers within the NFL, two environment friendly working backs and a complementary, takeaway protection that helped the Cowboys lead the league in turnover differential this yr. They have but to make a critical run in three playoff appearances, two of which got here below Garrett.
The Prescott window will not be going to final ceaselessly. His agent brilliantly acquired him signed to a four-year deal that can permit Prescott to re-up after only a few extra seasons, probably eclipsing $50 million per yr if he continues on his present trajectory. Randy Gregory, Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup, Connor Williams and Leighton Vander Esch are all free brokers in 2022. Regardless of how proficient their personnel division is perhaps, it will be silly to assume they may replenish a roster like this once more following back-to-back eras affected by Professional Bowl expertise.
After the sport, Jones known as the loss each “disappointing” and “stunning.” Whereas it’s anybody’s guess what occurs subsequent, likelihood is he’s acquired just a few conferences lined up for the week forward.
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