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Players win not coaches

Vince Lombardi is hailed as a genius for leading Packers teams that boasted 11 future Hall of Famers to five NFL championships. Perhaps he did more with less in leading the lowly 1969 Redskins to a winning season – their first in 13 years. That 7-5-2 record he posted in Washington in not listed high among his accolades, but one could argue it was his most impressive pure coaching job, given the culture and the roster he took over.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s long-standing genius status was achieved only after franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe got hurt and Tom Brady was forced to start. The year before Belichick had gone 5-11 and was on the TV expert hot seat; a year later, a generational talent at quarterback helped flip that record to 11-5 and Belichick won a Super Bowl.

Talent makes good coaches great, or at least reveals their greatness to a largely lazy sports media seemingly blind to all but win-loss records. Leading a talented team to a Super Bowl win takes great coaching. Leading a shallow, banged-up roster to a competitive 8-8 is also great coaching.

From a pure coaching standpoint, one could argue Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells’ first season in Dallas was more impressive than either of his Super Bowl seasons in New York. In 2003, he led a roster that had finished 5-11 three straight years to an improbable 10 wins and the playoffs. In 1986, he won a Superbowl with eight pro bowlers and the league MVP.

The highs and lows of franchises on the field mirror their successes in the war room, more so than the coaches who lead them.

From the Cowboys first draft in 1961 through the end of that decade, the team selected 15 pro bowlers, including five Hall of Famers. The expansion franchise built from scratch would be dominating the NFL’s Eastern Division by 1966, finishing the decade with four straight division titles and two NFL Championship appearances.

During the ‘70s, the team drafted 15 more pro bowlers and won two Super Bowls. That Tom Landry is a coaching genius.

Then from 1980 to 1987, the Cowboys drafted two pro bowlers. Two pro bowlers in eight drafts; two pro bowlers out of 109 picks. In fact, the Cowboys started the ‘80s by logging five straight drafts without a single pro bowler; they’d go 0-for-72 before landing Herschel Walker in the fifth round in 1985.

By all accounts, and rightfully so, Tom Landry is considered a great NFL coach, but it is assumed his coaching acumen declined during the ‘80s. More than likely, he was still the same coach; he was just starting Brian Baldinger instead of Rayfield Wright. See the difference?

Jimmy Johnson took over the war room in 1989, and drafted five eventual pro bowlers with his first six picks. In the space of six picks, the Cowboys drafted more pro bowlers than they had the previous nine years. Gives you some idea of why the ‘80s were so bad and the ‘90s were so good.

Coaching matters. Coaching can make a difference, but it can only get you so far. Winning big in the NFL takes talent. If the Cowboys can bolster the roster in this upcoming draft, and some of their key contributors can stay on the field, 2014 might be filled with talk about how Jason Garrett has finally “figured out how to win” in the NFL.

Yeah – draft plenty of pro bowlers. That’s just great coaching.

I agree with most of that, but coaches can teach good technique, and that helps guys with talent develop. Plus it helps middle guys learn so they don't get to embarrassed.

Bottom line no wins..People forget how bad the Talent with Danny White got. I think this next draft will define Romo's career, if we get some talent he has a chance. Draft bad and Romo will be what the haters talk about for yrs to come.

Jason Garrett has been at the helm of the team during some of the most epic collapses in NFL History, not just team history.  In his case, he does less with more.  Fughettaboutit.

MrMiyamoto wrote:
Jason Garrett has been at the helm of the team during some of the most epic collapses in NFL History, not just team history.  In his case, he does less with more.  Fughettaboutit.

Well if there is a team can find a way to lose the Cowboys seem to be that team. But injuries certainly have killed us the last 2 yrs. I still like the direction we are headed in.

Romo has been with Garretts program since 2007. Trying to get Romo to learn a new offensive system this late in is career might be a little much.

Garrett knows his strengths and game plans for that. The hand has been dealt for at least another season, we'll just play it out.

Its to late to change horses in midstream

Garrett has been treated no better than the team, its been a revolving door for coaches since Garrett took over. Even Garrett deserves some stability in trying to do his job.

I see why Garrett has tried to do to much, he hasn't had a staff long enough for them to learn his schemes. Its never just black and white there are always mitigating circumstances.
El Kabong

I'm still kind of wondering what the special teams coach got pissed about. My guess, he was not offered any kind of promotion. He is going to be sadly missed.

Jimmy Johnson built a team that won (3) Super Bowls in the 90's. Then he goes to Miami and has a .500 team there. The difference was the players.

Earl Weaver said a good coach can't win any games, but a bad coach can lose games.

Dallas defense was so bad under Rob Ryan, everyone was thrilled when he left town. He takes the Saints, and adds a couple of players and has a great defense.

I think the Cowboys defenses, with all the injuries, and bad Jerry Jones decisions, have been un-coachable.

Dallas needs to make better decisions on player personnel and improve, especially the defense, and they will be fine. If we keep seeing one couch potato after another come in and play, we will see another 8-8 season, at best.

No coach in the history of the NFL, that won a SB, has gone somewhere else and done it again with another team.

I think good coaches have to be good teachers, after that its up to the player to execute. Dallas has had to many schemes run at them in the past few years.

I hope they get better, so the team can continue to have continuity.

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