We saw so many awful play calls from Jason Garrett this season, but I don’t think he sabotaged Wade Phillips. I do think, like everyone else on staff, he didn’t give his best effort to Wade – but this was to his benefit.
For starters, I don’t think you can coach penalties. Penalties have killed us all year and Sunday we had 5 – and none of them were all that stupid. For it to have been sabotage, Garrett would have had to orchestrate some of these penalties (Hey, make sure you hold on this pass . . ) No way.
Secondly, in my opinion, the defense won our game in New York. They took 14 points off the board with two picks alone. For the Giants, it would be really difficult to get your defense motivated when your offense marches down to the 1 yard line and throws an interception for a touchdown.
Lastly, I think Garrett fell into some of the same bad habits he has been doing forever in the second half of the game. He started calling relatively predictable plays and tried to sit on the lead. Those plays resulted in more punts for the Cowboys and more opportunities for the Giants. How many fourth quarter leads have we seen slip away in the past three or four seasons because of this strategy?
I think what is closer to the truth is that these players just saw something happen in Dallas that has never happened before – a coach was fired and replaced mid-season. Everyone from the coaching staff down is now aware that no one’s job is totally safe, except for a few key players. I’m fairly certain that there will be a pretty good house cleaning at the end of the season. And it will be pretty tough to land a roster spot on a great team if you are known for not giving your all and having mental errors (i.e. pulling up on a tackle against the Packers).
It would be great new chapter in Jason Garrett’s life to wind up coaching the Cowboys. But I think more than anything he knows that he has to get this team headed down the right path if he is going to find an good OC or HC job in the off season and avoid having to become a quarterback’s coach.