Jerry Roasts Cowboys Garrett After Bumbling Loss at Patriots - And Here's Why

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - Perplexed anger. Frayed confidence. Naked honesty.All of those were in play in the losing locker room Sunday night in Foxborough, and all of them were tossed together in Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' absolute roasting of coach Jason Garrett and his staff's role in the 13-9 loss to the Patriots.

Jerry was mobbed by media members in search of a coaching beheading and we came close to getting our wish. Jones spoke in an even tone, but he very openly assaulted a coaching staff that deserved it.

He spoke about "being out-coached,'' a damning thing to say about the men he hired. He spoke about a "lack of coaching fundamentals,'' which would've been a malicious insult had it not been true. He spoke about some aspects of this failure - failure to deal with the inclement weather, failure to manage a touchdown, failure to understand or consider mathematical odds, failure of a kickoff-return team to be able to catch a kickoff - as being a problem worth blaming on "100-percent coaching.''

This wasn't Jason Garrett "on the hot seat." RedBall has existed all year in that sizzling state, which is how this works when a coach wins a playoff game but then doesn't get a contract extension. No, this is an NFL version of Dante's Inferno, where a 6-5 record and first place in the inept NFC East is just another circle of Hell.

Jerry used versions of the word "frustration'' multiple times.

“It’s frustrating,'' he said, "just to be reminded that some of the fundamentals of football and coaching were what beat us out there today.”

Ouch. This is an owner telling his coach - with whom he has a familial relationship - that he's not capable of "coaching the fundamentals of football.'' There can be no harsher analysis.

Garrett's Cowboys opened the first quarter by a) missing a field goal, b) allowing a blocked punt to set up an easy Patriots score and c) nearly muffing a kickoff. That was all in one quarter, and the Patriots' legendary coach Bill Belichick smelled blood. Once Dallas' special-teams units showed themselves to be different acts in the same clown show, all of New England's kickoffs were intentionally short - and all of them were either bobbled or nearly not fielded at all by Dallas. The Patriots even befuddled Garrett's staff by simply aligning in punt-block formation (with no returner deep), a move so insanely complex for special-teams coach Keith O'Quinn and the fellas to deal with that a delay-of-game penalty was absorbed so the braintrust could consult itself.

On one sideline, New England laughed in the near-freezing rain. On the other sideline, Dallas QB Dak Prescott fretted whether or not to wear a glove on his throwing hand.

It's Thanksgiving Week, so the Cowboys have another game in, like, a minute. I can tell you that Garrett has already decided on his "Cliche of the Week'' for the Buffalo Bills' Thursday visit: "Eyes forward!'' you are about to hear him say a few dozen times.

Meanwhile, the short week means Dallas won't be making staff changes. The official beheadings will have to wait.

Oh, and you know what else should've waited? The gossip, obviously floated by some dunce in the Garrett camp, that maybe he'll bolt for the New York Giants after this season if the Joneses don't treat him politely. I wrote on Sunday morning what Jerry's response to this bizarre attempt at "leverage'' would be, and I believe I was right.

Jerry's post-game venom was about perplexed anger and frayed confidence and naked honesty but maybe it was about the Garrett-to-Giants story, too, an act of disloyalty that creates the impression that Jason's "Eyes Forward'' are looking all the way to a job in The Meadowlands.

"With the makeup of this team,'' Jerry said, "I shouldn’t be this frustrated.”

By "makeup,'' Jones means the expensive title-contending talent he believes has been assembled on this roster. He clearly does not include the Jason Garrett coaching staff as part of that impressive "makeup.''

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