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Donovan McNabb and Randy Moss: Cowboys’ problem is coaching

Jason GarrettThe Dallas Cowboys have not made the playoffs since 2009, which was also the last time they posted a winning record. Despite having some talented players on their roster, the Cowboys can’t seem to win when it counts. Tony Romo takes most of the blame for that, but Donovan McNabb and Randy Moss see things a bit differently. The two former NFLers think coaching is the issue.

Under Monte Kiffin last season, the Cowboys allowed a league-worst 415.3 yards per game. They also gave up 27 points per game, which makes the fact that they even won eight games somewhat impressive.

“I think for the Dallas Cowboys it’s much more than just what we see from the defense and offense, I mean, let’s go upstairs,” McNabb said on FOX Sports Live, via The Dallas Morning News. “Let’s talk about the coaching staff. How do you go from Monte Kiffin and Marinelli being a position coach to [Marinelli] now being the defensive coordinator and Kiffin being like a position coach? And it’s the same on the offensive end. You had Jason Garrett calling plays, supposedly, then Callahan.”

Most defensive coordinators would have been fired in a heartbeat given how bad the Cowboys were last season. Kiffin was basically just demoted.

McNabb didn’t let Jason Garrett off the hook, either. He said it makes no sense that Garrett has kept his job while doing worse than Wade Phillips did before him.

“I’m still figuring out how he still has a job at this particular point the way we have continued to see this team just continue to crumble,” McNabb said. “(You played) behind hall of famers and you see how they carry the two-minute offense. He’s run the two-minute offense himself as a starting quarterback. The way that they control their offense in certain games, how can you lead games in the middle of the third quarter and you end up losing the game?”

Moss agreed, though he went much easier on Garrett.

“The thing that’s not really fair to Tony Romo is he really hasn’t had that coaching to be able to bring him along,” Moss said. “I’m not sitting here busting Garrett or trying to call Garrett out, but there has not been nothing steady in Dallas. It’s always coaches come and go.”

Playcalling has been a major issue for the Cowboys in recent years — there’s no debating that. They seem lost at times when playing with a lead, and most of that falls on the coaching staff. If Dallas misses the playoffs again this season, Jerry Jones will have no choice but to move on from Garrett.

Wade Phillips reminds us all he’s a better coach than Jason Garrett

Wade PhillipsWade Phillips is still unemployed since being fired as defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans in January, and he is working hard to get a new gig.

A little over a week after being fired by the Texans, Phillips went on Twitter and touted his accomplishments as a coach in some sort of marketing move:

Two months later, Phillips went back to Twitter to promote himself.

On Thursday, Phillips sent a tweet comparing himself to current Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who replaced him during the 2010 season.

Looks like Wade does have a little bit of his dad’s personality in him.

Wade is 66 and while he may not be head coaching material, he certainly is a good defensive coordinator. I’m surprised nobody has picked him up yet. Maybe he needs to keep tweeting more stats!

Jason Garrett says Tony Romo changed play before interception; Cole Beasley takes blame

Jason GarrettJason Garrett wasn’t about to cover up for his quarterback following a 37-36 choke job loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. He told the media the truth about what happened on Tony Romo’s final interception that solidified the win for Green Bay.

Garrett said after the loss that Romo changed the play from a run to a pass on second and one. Romo threw a pass intended for Cole Beasley with 1:24 left in the game that was intercepted.

There was also some confusion about what happened on the route Beasley was running. Beasley broke off his route and stopped running, which led to Romo’s pass sailing towards Tramon Williams. Had Beasley kept going, he probably would have caught the pass.

ESPN’s Tim McMahon says Beasley took the blame for the last interception:

So there you have it: the head coach pins the responsibility on Romo for the last interception, while the receiver takes the blame for making a mistake. And why does it seem like Romo has so many of these miscommunications with his receivers at the end of games?

A lot of people said Garrett was throwing Romo under the bus by shifting the responsibility to him for changing the play, but Garrett was just telling people the facts. The thing is in football, team leaders are expected to publicly take the blame regardless of whose fault it was. That’s something Garrett didn’t do.

SEE: Tony Romo’s two interceptions in the final 3 minutes of loss

Tony Romo, Jason Witten give Jason Garrett an earful

Tony Romo Jason Garrett

Tony Romo gave coach Jason Garrett an earful as he came off the field following a stalled drive in the red zone during the first quarter of the Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game on Sunday. Tight end Jason Witten also seemed to have some issues to express to Garrett.

The Cowboys had a second and goal from the five and kept Witten in to block while second-round pick Gavin Escobar went out for a pass on their second drive of the game. Escobar dropped a pass in the end zone that hit him in the hands, leaving Romo in disbelief:

On the next play, Romo tried forcing a pass to Witten that wasn’t there, and it went incomplete. The Cowboys had to settle for a short field goal to go up 6-3.

As he was clearing off the field, Romo, perhaps upset over the playcalling, yelled at Garrett. Announcer Joe Buck described it as Romo giving Garrett an “earful.” FOX also showed Witten saying something to Garrett in an intense matter.

Whatever their issues were seemed to be worked out, because the Cowboys scored a touchdown on their next drive on a 25-yard pass from Romo to Witten.

Who cost the Cowboys more against Broncos: Jason Garrett or Tony Romo?

Jimmy-Johnson-Terry-Bradshaw-Jason-GarrettFirst and foremost, it should be noted that it is nearly impossible to win a game in the National Football League after allowing more than 40 points. The Denver Broncos somehow pulled it off on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. If Dallas fans want to blame anyone for the loss, they should probably blame their defense. If not, Tony Romo and head coach Jason Garrett have emerged as quality scapegoats.

Romo is too easy. After throwing for 506 yards and five touchdowns, he went classic Romo and threw an interception with just over two minutes remaining. The turnover gave the Broncos the ball in field goal range and positioned them perfectly for the win. That’s when Garrett made a questionable coaching decision.

With roughly 1:45 remaining in the game, Denver faced a 3rd-and-1 from the 2-yard line. Rather than allowing Denver to score and giving his offense a chance to tie the game with about 1:30 left and no timeouts remaining, Garrett had his defense try to stuff the Broncos on third down. Knowshon Moreno did the best thing he could have done at the time, picking up exactly one yard and giving Denver a first down without scoring. Peyton Manning was then able to take a knee and run the clock all the way down for the Broncos to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired.

On one hand, you can understand why Garrett went for the stop. The Cowboys had one timeout left at the time. Had Dallas stopped Moreno, it would have been 4th-and-1 and they could have used the timeout and forced Denver to settle for a field goal. That would have given the ball back to the Cowboys with plenty of time to get into field goal range for the tie.

The other side of the argument is that you play the odds in that situation. The chances of stopping Denver’s offense from picking up one yard were slim. Had he let Moreno walk into the end zone, Garrett would have given his team a chance. By going for the stop and failing, the game essentially game to an end.

As they say, hindsight is 20-20.

Jason Garrett is teaching Dallas Cowboys receivers geometry

Jason GarrettJason Garrett has long been lauded as a cerebral coach. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current head coach was an Ivy League quarterback who attended both Princeton and Columbia. It’s safe to say he’s pretty well educated. And it sounds like he’s trying to pass some of his education along to his players.

According to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, Garrett saw wide receiver Miles Austin running a route during practice in Oxnard, Calif., on Wednesday morning and began quizzing him about the Pythagorean theorem. Why? Because based on the way Austin ran his route, Garrett felt the theorem could help explain to Austin how he could have done it better.

“It’s an important thing to understand,” Garrett said of the theorem. “If you’re running this route from here to get to that spot, it’s going to take a little bit longer [if you're at the wrong depth]. … So we talked about Pythagoras.”

Garrett apparently does quiz his players on things, but Google defeats any real research they would be forced to do.

Though geometry and NFL players doesn’t seem to mix, Garrett’s lesson does make plenty of sense. The only challenge is making sure he’s not talking over his players so that they will be able to understand his point. When Garrett eventually gets canned, I bet this will be one of the things people point to as an explanation for why he didn’t succeed as a coach. Think about it: the guy knows geometry, but he can’t figure out that icing a kicker is a bad idea.

Jerry Jones: Jason Garrett Will Be Cowboys’ Coach Next Year ‘No Matter What’

Fortunately for the Cowboys, the NFC East has been the most inconsistent division in football this season.  If this were any other season Dallas would probably be out of the playoff race, but the Eagles fell on their faces and the Giants have gone week-to-week.  Regardless of how they got there, Jason Garrett has his team one win away from the playoffs in his first full season as head coach of the Cowboys.  According to Jerry Jones, head coach is a title Garrett will keep next season whether his team wins or loses at New York on Sunday.

“That’s just ridiculous,” Jones said during an interview with 105.3 in Dallas when asked if Garrett is on the hot seat. “We’re just getting started with Jason. It’s just not the case at all. Nobody is worried about the coach’s job here. We’ll answer this thing as many ways as you want to answer it with as many circumstances, his job has no bearing and is not a part of this ballgame. Yes, he’s going to be our coach next year period no matter what the score is.”

Ultimately it has been the players on the field who have made mistakes at critical moments and taken plays off, but that responsibility falls on the head coach.  Garrett was also responsible for one of the biggest coaching flubs of all-time earlier in the season.  Two certain FOX analysts don’t believe he is the man for the job in Big D, but apparently Jones disagrees.

Of course, we wouldn’t put it past Jerruh to give Garret the axe if he loses on Sunday anyway.  Every moment the Cowboys coach has to wonder about his job security is a moment spent not preparing for the biggest game of the year.  You wouldn’t doubt Jerry would go back on his word, would you?