David Garrard just played the best game of his NFL career against the Dallas Cowboys. He completed 17 of 21 passes for 260 yards and four touchdowns. He also scored a rushing touchdown on a quarterback keeper. His passer rating for the game was a dazzling 158.3
After the game, Garrard, in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, talked about why he and his Jaguars were so successful against the Cowboys. Interestingly, he didn’t talk about being in “the zone” or bringing his “A game.” Instead, he questioned his opponent’s effort.
“It just looked like they weren’t into the game like an NFL team should be,” Garrard told King.
Garrard went on to say that he noticed a “woe is me” attitude among some of the Cowboys’ players.
So, there you have it. Just as we suspected, the Jaguars are what we thought they were, which is a 3-4, so-so, middle-of-the-pack NFL team trying to scratch out a win and get to 4-4 going into their bye week. They are not the Steelers of ’70s, the 49er of the ’80s, or the Cowboys of the ’90s. But they are a professional NFL team and if you are not going to put up a fight, they are more than capable of hanging 35 points on you and looking like world beaters.
It is no surprise to anyone who has watched this Cowboys team during the Wade Phillips era that this team has a “woe is me” attitude. Teams, whether Jerry Jone or Phillips will admit or not, reflect the attitude and persona of their head coach. They do.
“Well, these are grown men. They are professionals. They should police themselves. They don’t need a coach telling them what they should be doing.”This is the rationale we have often heard around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys and the coaching situation.
That kind of thinking is ridiculous and wrong. It is the same as saying that leadership doesn’t matter. It is the same as saying that men like Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry were superfluous and not vital to their teams’ success. It is like saying Douglas MacArthur had nothing to do with the victory in the Pacific Theatre in World War II or that Alexander the Great wasn’t really all that great.
Leadership matters. I work in an industry rife with professional men, too. That doesn’t mean that the company leadership won’t set a standard and expect it to be reached. They will. Fail to meet that standard and you will soon be on Uncle Obama’s payroll, collecting your unemployment check and your food stamps.
Watch any Wade Phillips press conference. Notice the hang-dog, woe-is-me attitude. Listen to him make excuses and pass the buck. Then, watch a Cowboys’ game. Deja Vu!
The Cowboys are losing because they are functioning in an environment where maximum effort is optional, where dumb mistakes are tolerated, where big paychecks are guaranteed regardless of your production.They work in the perfect environment for producing under-achievement.
David Garrard is not Joe Montana. The Jacksonville Jaguars are not the ’60s Packers. But they didn’t need to be. All they needed was to show up. That is all you have to do to beat a team that won’t even put up a good fight.
Jerry Jones needs to fire Wade Phillips right now. Everyone knows it. Peter King knows it. David Garrard knows it. You know it. I know it. Heck, even Wade himself knows it.
“Our team didn’t play with enough passion, enough effort, enough fortitude to compete in this game.”
Those are the words of Wade Phillips, a coach who knows he has lost his team. But will he lose his Job?
Only Jerry Jones knows the answer to that one.