Up The Gut Week 10: Jason Garrett Must Go

The Cowboys need a culture change, Shaun Morash says, and a new head coach is a good place to start

The DA Show
November 08, 2018 - 9:26 am

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By: Shaun Morash

Cold Open

Long live the Clapper. After a week off and an "all-in" type trade of a first-round pick to the Raiders for Amari Cooper, the Cowboys were poised to make an enormous second half of the season statement at home, in primetime, versus a clunky Titans team. Instead, they were embarrassed, even after jumping out to a 7-0 lead and turning the Titans over a couple of times. 

In the hours and days that have followed Monday Night's meltdown, Jerry Jones has had to answer questions about Jason Garrett, and Garrett has had to answer questions about Dak Prescott. All of the answers have been the wrong ones. The time has come for a culture change in Dallas. Sometimes a change of scenery is necessary for a coach who has been in one place for a long time. The greatest coaches of all time have seen this fate, let alone gum-chewing, in-game-managing bozos like Jason Garrett. If Garrett returns, there will be no more denying the Jerry Jones puppet master rumors, because that is the only reason there would not be a change on those sidelines. This fish stinks from the head down, and with Jerry Jones that head is rotten until further notice.

Ten Yard Gain

1-Finally a veteran stud who is available has turned down chasing a ring for Bill Belichick. That's right. Bruce Irvin was reportedly offered more money to go play in New England but opted for a hometown discount to play for a Falcons team that may suddenly be finding its footing. Josh Gordon was enough of the Patriots getting one over on the league. 

2-The Saints sent another subtle message that just maybe this is the end of the road for Drew Brees. Though nobody is saying it, and that may be because there isn't anything to it, I can't help but speculate if this will be Drew Brees' final season. The Saints traded for Teddy Bridgewater, who is a free agent at the end of the season, but unless they felt like they would re-sign him, why make that move? Now, after beating the Rams to take over the top seed in the NFC, they bring in Dez Bryant to give Drew Brees more bullets to bring home one more Lombardi.

3-We will soon learn if Nick Mullens is Willie Beamen or Matt Flynn. The unknown tore up the Raiders on Thursday Night, earning himself the starting nod this week and probably beyond. Jimmy Garoppolo is the 49ers' future, but like fictional character Willie Beamen or former Packers Matt Flynn, can Mullens turn this short success into a starting job elsewhere next year? (Though Flynn lost out to Russell Wilson in Seattle, he still got himself a pay day on seemingly one performance.)

4-The nonsense of benching Sam Darnold in New York has to stop. Yes, he threw four interceptions and was pummeled in Miami on a bad field, but he is a rookie and this is exactly what you need him to go through to better the franchise. Though a win would have kept the Jets in playoff striking distance, the overall goal of this season is have Darnold see all he can and work through it. This is not a David-Carr-in-Houston situation; let Darnold continue to take his lumps even if it is at the expense of wins. 

5-Give Matt Nagy and the Bears a lot of credit. At 5-3, the exact model the team should have wanted is in place. Be a playoff team in Year 2 of their young quarterback's rookie deal. A win over the lowly Bills may not seem like much, but 41-9 over the Bills and not fooling around is the sign of a focused team. That is a sign Nagy knows exactly what he is doing in Chicago. 

6-Nine weeks into the NFL season, and all of the flowers thrown at Patrick Mahomes' feet doesn't seem like enough. 300+ passing yards in eight straight games and the best record in the AFC after one half is nothing to sneeze at. However, because of Andy Reid's clock-management gaffes seemingly every year, I cannot trust the Chiefs will take down the Patriots when it matters until I see otherwise. 

7-With a franchise-record 10 sacks Sunday, the Vikings seem to be finding their footing on what got them to be an NFC power a year ago. Kirk Cousins has had his choke-like moments subtly throughout the season, and I still believe ultimately that will be the undoing of this team come December and January, for now you have to applaud the defense for righting the ship after looking like a lost cause for too much of the first half of this season. 

8-With Philip Rivers and the Chargers now having their best eight-game start since 2006, perhaps it is time to start taking the Chargers seriously, or if you are a Rivers fan to start rooting hard for him to go on the magic carpet rides seen by his 2004 draft class mates Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Wouldn't it be something – and an embarrassment to the NFL – for the Chargers to go on a magic Super Bowl rise, cement a quarterback's legacy, and then essentially see no fans show up for a championship parade? 

9-I started this piece discussing the job security of Jason Garrett, and I have said throughout the last two seasons to look into the job security of Mike McCarthy. The NFC North is starting to slip away yet again from Green Bay, as they are below .500 at the halfway point. Aaron Rodgers' prime years are being wasted. Much like Dallas, if Green Bay continues at this pace and misses the playoffs without Rodgers missing multiple games, how can they bring McCarthy back?

10-Three straight losses for the Ravens after Baltimore felt like the only contender who could really play defense in the AFC. Joe Flacco is starting to crumble, and John Harbaugh is starting to answer questions himself about job security. Baltimore could look like a whole new world in eight weeks.

Five Games To Chew On

5) Seahawks @ Rams:  Part I of this rivalry this season was a thriller, and the Rams closest taste of defeat before last Sunday's loss in New Orleans. The Seahawks have been a surprise, Russell Wilson now has control of this team, and he is seizing it. Seattle and the Rams have seemingly always played close games since Pete Carroll took the reins in the Pacific Northwest, with the exception of a few Jeff Fisher clunkers. Don't be shocked if the Rams find themselves in a two-game slide after this one. 

4) Cowboys @ Eagles: The Cowboys' season is evaporating before our eyes, and they have been the definition of a .500 team for the past 2+ seasons. Now they go on the road, in prime time once again with the spotlight on them versus the also-.500 Eagles. Somebody has to win the NFC East, and with the Redskins suffering three crucial season-ending injuries this past week, the time is now for Philadelphia to make a run. 

3) Saints @ Bengals: The Saints schedule is daunting in the second half of the season, but confidence exudes in that locker room following their enormous win versus the Rams. The Bengals come home with A.J. Green out, making it that much more difficult for the Bengals to keep pace with a Saints offense that is clicking on all cylinders. Joe Mixon versus Alvin Kamara makes this a running back fans' delight of a game. 

2) Patriots @ Titans: Somehow Tennessee wins more than they lose and continue to put themselves in the thick of a playoff race, despite looking ugly every win they get. They get the Patriots at home this week in what is a playoff rematch from the divisional round last season. Mike Vrabel gets his first shot as a head coach versus his mentor Bill Belichick. 

1) Panthers @ Steelers: I usually exclude Thursday Night games from Up The Gut, but this game is so juicy on a weekend not featuring enough juice that this had to be made game of the week. Two playoff teams, both of which in tight divisional races, both featuring tough quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet. Anything is possible in the NFL, so why not this as an off-the-wall Super Bowl matchup? Either way, finally, Thursday Night football is must-see. 

My Picks

We got another 2-1 week last week to keep this thing churning above .500 as we head to the second half of the season. 14-12-1 is the record. For this week:

Chargers -10 @ Raiders: I just can't call the Chargers elite yet, despite their 6-2 start. However, the Raiders have flat out quit and that was never more evident than the washing they sat and took at the hands of the 49ers. Now Bruce Irvin is jettisoned. The Chargers walk into Oakland and have their way with the Raiders because, well, everyone does now. 

Seahawks +10 @ Rams: The Rams escaped with a victory, barely, in Week 5, over these Seahawks in Seattle. The Rams tasted defeat versus the Saints, and this spread is a signal that Vegas and bettors expect the Rams to turn back around a roll. Though a win may be in the Rams' cards, a blowout isn't. This Seahawks team is tough and gritty and know the Rams like the back of their hand. Ten points is far too many to lay, even for the Rams at home. 

Cowboys +6.5 @ Eagles: The Cowboys are the talk of America for all the wrong reasons again. They come into this one losing three of four and limping into an Eagles team coming off a bye week. Though in this NFC East, or should I say least, anything more than three points between any teams matching up is far too many. The Cowboys, as they showed the Jaguars three weeks ago, seem to revive just when the final layers of dirt are tossed. Eagles and Cowboys will be tight throughout the 4th, with three to four points determining it as per this NFC East. So take the points and run.

Football Food of The Week

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Bites: If you hate spicy, you may want to shy away. If you love bacon, you may want in. Buy fresh jalapenos and slice them either vertically or horizontally into thin pieces. Add a dollop (small spoonful) of soft cream cheese to the top of the jalapeno and sprinkle some shredded cheese to the top of the cream cheese on each piece and then freeze for a half an hour.

Upon taking them out of the freezer, toss these in egg wash and roll in bread crumb, then wrap a small piece of a bacon strip all the way around, put a tooth pick through each, and then bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. The bacon juices will infuse with the jalapeno juices, all while you get the creamy cooked cream cheese and gooeyness of the taco cheese. These are one-bite delights that will have your taste buds dancing to the end zone. 

Thanks for reading, enjoy your weekend of football, and remember you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.