Let’s get something straight from the get-go: the Washington Redskins earned that win on Monday night over the Cowboys. They made the plays more than Dallas did not.
But make no mistake – Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett put his team in a bad position by allowing Tony Romo to return to the game late in the fourth quarter. It once again proved that Garrett is not his own man when it comes to being the coach of the Cowboys. He gave in to the pressure from Romo, and more so from owner/GM Jerry Jones, who seems to have added team doctor to his repertoire of titles.
Jerry, it’s quite simple really – stay in your box.
Seriously, what other owner in sports has a conversation on the sideline or bench with the head coach during a game?
Can you imagine if Tom Hicks came down to talk with former Stars coach Ken Hitchcock in the middle of a Stanley Cup Playoff game back in 1999? How about the late great Dr. Jerry Buss wanting to chat with Lakers coach Pat Riley back in the day while Magic was at the free throw line?
Garrett had an opportunity and he folded like a tent, again. An opportunity to show everyone – the fans, the team, the owner – that he calls the shots (and should) as head coach during the game, and will not do anything he does not believe in. The right decision (and it was crystal clear to anyone with a pulse) was to tell Romo that he was sticking with Brandon Weeden for the remainder of this game.
Let me count the ways:
- Washington had already shown a tendency to blitz Romo, and blitz often, earlier in the game. You think Redskins DC Jim Haslett was about to stop with a hobbled Romo back in the game? He was probably drooling at a probable sitting duck.
- Weeden looked good after replacing Romo, including marching the Cowboys 80 yards in eight plays to tie the game at 17-17 right before number 9 returned to the playing field.
- Leaving Weeden in had zero chances of creating any type of quarterback controversy and would be easily understood by everyone on the team, as well as fans and media.
- All in all, it would simply be a smart football move.
Again, none of these moves really lost the game for the Cowboys (though that fumble by Romo on the last possession of regulation certainly could have done it). Rather, the Redskins earned it. Colt McCoy made plays to put his team in position to steal a win. Good for him.
Would Dallas have gotten the victory if Weeden was reinserted over Romo? We’ll never know. But what we would know is that Garrett had changed; he was in charge. But the truth is he hasn’t changed. Neither has Jerry.
Actually, I’m not sure why Jerry even has doctors on the payroll. All he really needs to do is check in with any player that gets hurt during a game and see if he’s good to go. Then go tell his coach what the situation is. Possibly hang around the sideline and tell Rod Marinelli when he might want a blitz or two.
Jerry’s influence did, in fact, lead to a few more blitzes in the game. Haslett was happy to oblige.