With the Dallas Cowboys in danger of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year, the calls to fire head coach Jason Garrett are getting louder and more frequent. Unlike previous years when owner Jerry Jones ignored or downplayed the criticism, this time he might actually fulfill the request.
BetDSI put out a prop bet on who will be the Cowboys coach at Week 1 of the 2019 season, and Garrett is the fourth selection at 6/1. New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the favorite at 5/2. He is followed by current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at 3/1, and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at 5/1.
One dark horse candidate whose name has come up frequently is Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley, who is at 25/1. He was the favorite for the Cleveland Browns job at 9/4, but said he wasn’t interested.
“No, not right now,” Riley said at his Monday press conference. “You sit here and answer these questions, and I always want to be truthful. The truth is for me is I love Oklahoma. I love coaching here. I love college football. I certainly don’t have that itch right now. Don’t know that I ever will.”
If the Dallas job opened up, however, it might be more alluring to the Lone Star State native. He was born in Lubbock, played at Texas Tech, and was an assistant coach for the Red Raiders.
Criticism Comes Calling
It’s apparent that Riley, or anyone other than Garrett, would be welcomed by fans, who have been pounding the struggling coach on social media, and point to two instances that they believe justify their opinion.
The first was a questionable call in the team’s overtime loss to in-state rival Houston. In overtime, the Cowboys faced a fourth and one from Houston’s 42-yard line. Instead of trying to make the three feet and extend the drive, Garrett chose to punt. The Texans drove down the field and kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn drilled a 36-yard field goal to win the game.
The second was the team’s woeful performance on Monday during their contest with Tennessee. The Titans have the 30th ranked offense, but yet were able to score 28 points against the Cowboys.
That game saw former Dallas QB, and Hall of Famer, Troy Aikman to openly call for a complete overhaul of the team, but stopped short of saying Garrett should be fired.
What Would Jerry Do?
But that is exactly what Jones might do at the end of the year. The owner has seen his team make the playoffs in just two of Garrett’s seven years, and win only one game in the postseason.
He is definitely not pleased about where the team is currently. They are 3-5, and if not for the lowly New York Giants, would be in last place in the NFC East. They have a stretch starting this Sunday where they play at Philadelphia, then at Atlanta, followed by hosting the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, and the Eagles.
“When you’ve played eight games and only won three, that’s a cause for concern,” Jones said.
The owner did say that Garrett is safe for the rest of the season, preferring to assess personnel afterwards, which will probably end with the team’s final regular season game on Dec. 30.