in November 2010, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he wouldn’t be making a coaching change during the season. After the very next game, an embarrassing 45-7 loss to the Packers on Sunday Night Football, Jones abruptly changed his mind and fired Wade Phillips.
“Wade today is a vivid example of accountability,” Jones said at the time.
Now, after Jones has declared — eight years to the day — that he wouldn’t be making a coaching change during the season, the question becomes whether an embarrassing loss to the Eagles on Sunday Night Football will cause Jones to abruptly change his mind, again.
“I don’t like the way that looks stabilitywise, organizationwise,” Jones said when explaining his change of heart in November 2010. “I think it called for it, and I recognized after the game that we just weren’t playing winning football or our best chance at winning football. I don’t apologize for changing my mind.”
Which means Jones won’t apologize for changing his mind about Garrett, if Jones changes his mind about Garrett after Sunday night.
So what will it take? Charean Williams, who covered the Cowboys for many years with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and still follows the Cowboys very closely for PFT, explained on Friday’s PFT Live that Jones pays attention to all opinions and criticisms of his team, and that he’s keenly aware of the mounting criticisms and clap-driven caricatures of Garrett. Jones also surely realizes that the Dallas offense lacks the kind of creativity and ingenuity that allows other teams to exploit the tendencies of opponents and exploit mismatches presented by any and every given defense.
A very real potential for a very bad outcome this weekend exists. The Eagles, who have the kind of creativity and ingenuity that the Cowboys don’t, will have had two weeks to prepare. The Cowboys will have had six days. The Eagles are hitting their stride. The Cowboys have spun out of control.
When the Eagles win against Dallas, the Eagles sometimes win big. 37-9 last year. 27-13 in 2016. 33-10 in 2014. 34-7 and 20-7 in 2011. And who can forget that 44-6 shellacking by the Eagles from the final week of 2008, which put the Eagles into the playoffs and knocked the Cowboys out?
Another outcome like one of those outcomes could end up being the final nail for Garrett, and his final act as head coach of the team. While he may still be clapping on the way out the door, Garrett definitely won’t be exiting to a round of applause from Cowboys fans who are currently clamoring for change.