The Dallas Cowboys have reached the playoffs just twice since Jason Garrett took over midway through the 2010 season, and Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens is baffled by how the coach has kept his job.
“When you really look at it, it doesn’t make sense for Jason Garrett to continue to have his job,” Owens told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Wednesday. “[The Cowboys are] not really expanding or progressing even as a team under his coaching tenure there.”
Garrett has a 68-55 record since taking over on an interim basis in 2010, and he is the second-longest-tenured coach and second-winningest coach in franchise history after Tom Landry.
He signed a five-year deal after directing the Cowboys to a 12-4 record in 2014.
After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention during the 2017 season, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he understood the frustration, but “I feel good about our head coach.”
Owens, however, said the team’s lackluster performances under Garrett are because the players have taken the blame.
“At the end of the day, how can you keep allowing the players to be the scapegoat for what’s not happening, especially when you have a head coach that’s supposed to be offensive-minded?” Owens said. “They’re supposed to direct and lead the team to where it hasn’t gotten in a number of years, and they’ve pretty much been in a standstill under coach Jason Garrett.
“… It all boils down to players being the scapegoat for his inability to lead the team as he should. For me, it’s mind-boggling. I don’t understand. And I think Jerry — again, he’s the owner at the end of the day, he has to feel good with himself about the decisions — but I just don’t understand why this guy [Garrett] still has a job.”
Owens played three seasons with the Cowboys from 2006 to 2008, when Garrett was the team’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator under Bill Parcells. Overall, T.O. played 16 NFL seasons, and he ranks second all time with 15,934 receiving yards, third with 153 receiving touchdowns and eighth with 1,078 receptions.
After being inducted in his third year on the ballot, Owens will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.
Asked to compare Garrett to Andy Reid, who coached the Philadelphia Eagles during Owens’ two seasons there in 2004 and 2005, T.O. said there was no comparison.
“That’s a slam dunk,” Owens said. “Andy Reid is by far the best coach that I’ve had. And I say that because he realized the talent that I had and he utilized me to the best of my abilities.
“… I knew what I provided. I knew my skill set, and Andy Reid utilized me to the best of my ability. I was playing lights-out when I played for Philadelphia. If I would have continued to play there, there’s no telling what my statistics would have been at the end of my career.”