Jason Garrett, we hardly knew ye.
But really, how could we?
Some coaches ooze every bit of their personalities on the sideline. Even if they don’t want us to get a read on them, they can’t help it.
The Dallas Cowboys were featured on national television on a near-weekly basis in 2019, and Garrett might have been captured on the sidelines saying all of seven words. Forget playing his cards close to his vest. They were under lock and key.
Playing the role of subordinate in the NFL’s most co-dependent relationship, Garrett never let his slip show.
Until Thursday night that is, when he was apparently handed his, this slip being of the pink variety.
Garrett is out in Big D, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported on Thursday night, Jones unable to bury off the bombshell in a typical Friday news dump.
Perhaps we should’ve guessed as much back in late November, when Jones lit into the Cowboys’ coaching staff after an inept 13-9 loss to the New England Patriots dropped them to 6-5.
It wasn’t just that Jones called his coaching staff out. Jones is no stranger to lighting a fuse.
It’s that he threw them under the bus and backed over them a few times in doing so, highlighting a pair of special teams miscues — a Brett Maher missed field goal and a blocked punt — that ultimately doomed the team.
“Special teams is a total reflection of coaching,” Jones said that day. “To me, special teams is 100 percent coaching. It’s 100 percent coaching. It’s strategy. It’s having players ready. … Special teams is nothing but coaching. Special teams is effort. Special teams is savvy. Special teams is thinking.”
Plenty of words from Jones, and few of reassurance from Garrett, who seemed to sense down the stretch that his time was coming to an end in Dallas.
His story is one that will be tied to Jones forever: Eight-year backup quarterback returns to former home as offensive coordinator, elevates to interim head coach and secures permanent gig with 5-3 record, goes on to conclude his tenure with second-most seasons and second-most wins in team history.
His was a story of second and third chances, of a rope longer than most head coaches in the NFL get twice over. Three straight 8-8 seasons. A bottom-out in 2015 at 4-12 that would’ve spelled doom for just about anyone else. Zero conference championship game appearances in nine-plus years at the helm. Squandered primes of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and more, a fact with which Bryant so publicly agreed on Twitter in late-December.