Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh and Mike Shanahan have all been coaching their respective teams as long as Garrett. This is a win now league. What do you see in Garrett that makes you believe he should coach this team another season?
Nick: Jerry Jones made a commitment to him a long time ago and wanted him to be the coach of this team because he thought Garrett had something special. To me, he needs to let him continue to grow. That’s what he signed up for. That list you mentioned is good to make your own point but the only person comparative to Garrett is Harbaugh. Garrett is a young coach who is still getting used to game management. Those other guys might be used to their team but not to the sideline as a head coach. What I like about Garrett is how he gets them to fight. This team could’ve quit on the season, each other and many times throughout games this year but didn’t. People take that for granted because they assume millionaire players should always play hard, but it’s not the case. This team fights for him. And I think he’s improved the team every year, regardless what the record says.
Rowan: The team never quit on him. Even after the season was over, if players really didn’t believe in him as a head coach, they could have chosen not to comment when asked their opinion on him. Instead, they all delivered confident, glowing endorsements about Garrett being the right guy for the job. Unless they’re hiding it well, they believe in him as the guy to lead the team, even if the team decides to go a different direction in terms of play calling.
PARK RIDGE, NJ
I'm not usually one for excuses, but would it be fair to say that if we didn't have half of our defensive starters on IR that we would have easily been in the playoffs?
Nick: Nothing comes easy for this team, so I wouldn’t say that. But facts are facts. The better players on defense weren’t in the lineup. I think the defense would’ve stopped the run a lot better and I think Murray’s presence on offense would’ve led to more success, too.
Rowan: It would have helped, but this team doesn’t do anything easily. I still think had most of the defensive players been healthy, a playoff spot wouldn’t have inevitably followed. There’s no question they would have played better defensively, but even had they beaten the Saints, they’d still need to have beaten the Redskins in the finale. And even if they defense played better in Washington, the offense didn’t play well at all that game. It’s possible at full strength the Cowboys could have won the first meeting against the Redskins, though, and that could have changed the impact of the final games of the season.