Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith believes coach Jason Garrett needs a successful 2018 season if he wants to keep his job, calling the coach’s eight-year tenure with the Cowboys “mediocre at best.”
“I think Jason has what it takes,” the Pro Football Hall of Famer told ESPN’s First Take on Thursday. “But I think this is his last year with the Dallas Cowboys if he doesn’t get it right. Because he’s had everything else to support his case. …I think people (fans) want more. I think (owner Jerry Jones) actually wants more.
“If in some cases you’ve had great seasons, but you haven’t been able to win the big one, that becomes a problem.”
Garrett is 67-53 since taking over cheap jerseys head-coaching duties for Wade Phillips in 2010 as interim. The Cowboys have made the playoffs twice under Garrett — in 2014 and 2016 — losing to the Green Bay Packers both times in the NFC Divisional round.
Smith isn’t the only former Cowboy criticizing Garrett. Former wide receiver Terrell Owens, speaking with USA TODAY Sports on Thursday, blamed Garrett for not making needed adjustments to get the Cowboys into the playoffs this year.
Smith used himself as an example of making necessary decisions in order to help the franchise. Smith, released by the Cowboys in 2003 when then-coach Bill Parcells opted to go with a younger running-backs unit, noted that “everybody has a shelf life, including coaches.”
“In order to get more, you may have to do things you don’t necessarily want to do,” Smith said. “I mean, they had to get rid of me to move on with everyone else.”
Jason Garrett is widely disliked amongst a Dallas Cowboys fan base that desperately wanted to see the head coach fired for the team’s let down of a season in 2017. Jerry Jones kept him, but if one team legend is right, it won’t be for long.
Emmitt Smith appeared on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday with a very simple message: if Garrett doesn’t make a big step in 2018, Jerry Jones is going to fire the embattled coach.
“I think Jason has what it takes. I do. But I think this is his last year with the Dallas Cowboys if he doesn’t get it right, because he’s had everything else supporting his case. I think people want more. I think Jerry actually wants more, and if you want to get more, you may have to do some things that you don’t necessarily want to do.”
To him, the issue comes down to winning championships. Garrett hasn’t come close as head coach of the Cowboys, and in Smith’s eyes, it’s time for him to pay for that.
“Everybody has a shelf life. Everyone. Including coaches. At the end of the day it’s about performance, and if your performance has been mediocre at best, in some cases you’ve had great seasons, but you haven’t been able to win the big one, that’s a problem.”
Smith has seen far greater coaches than Garrett lose their jobs. He was on the Cowboys when Jimmy Johnson was fired. Johnson had won two straight Super Bowls with the team. If Johnson, even under the circumstances that led to his firing, was not invincible, then there is no reason that Garrett should be without a ring on his finger.
Garrett has made the playoffs twice in his seven seasons with the Cowboys. Chan Gailey matched that total in only two seasons, but was fired after the second. Jones’ affinity for Garrett despite his poor performance makes little sense, but news like this will surely make fans of the team feel better. Either Garrett will shape up, or he will finally be shown the door.
The entire segment can be seen below.
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