Written by: Ali Jawad
After his contract officially ended with the Dallas Cowboys former head coach Jason Garrett made a trip up to 1925 Giants drive to interview for the vacant Giants offensive coordinator position. A place he once called home as a player from 2000-2003. Garrett is now being tasked to help to get his former team back on track after 3 consecutive losing seasons. The move might be controversial to some, but to others, it seems like a good hire for Joe Judge and his staff. Let’s take a look at what Garrett brings to the table as the new offensive coordinator for the Giants.
Garrett is no stranger to the position he is in right now having served as offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys from 2007-2010. He was named assistant coach of the year in 2007. He would go on to replace former cowboys HC Wade Philips as the new sheriff in town and would last the entire decade as head coach. Garrett would help guide the Cowboys to the playoffs 3 times, with 2 playoff wins and would also go on to win coach of the year in 2016. It should also be noted that Garrett coached under Nick Saban in Miami between 2005-2006. After taking the job as OC Saban was asked about the move and stated, “my biggest regret in Miami was not promoting Garrett to OC.”
Certainly high praise by the Alabama legend. Though his tenure as head coach had its ups and downs the experience is something Joe Judge needs on his staff a coach who can help serve as a voice to a team that is one of the youngest in the NFL.
Safe to say one of the best traits about Jason Garrett being in New York is his ability to develop young QBs. A former Quarterback himself from 1989-2004 Garrett certainly knows a thing or 2 about the game’s most important position. After his playing days, Garrett would help develop the likes of Tony Romo and Dak Prescott both pro bowl QBs. His next project will be Daniel Jones who is coming off a promising rookie campaign. Garrett praised Jones early in the season by stating “he’s big, he’s athletic, he can throw the ball, he can make plays in the pocket, he can make plays out in space with his feet, he keeps his eyes up, makes a lot of plays when he is on the move throwing the ball downfield and plays with a competitive spirit.” Safe to say Garrett is looking forward to working with Jones.
Numbers don’t lie
During Garrett’s time with Dallas as offensive coordinator and head coach the Cowboys offense was ranked in the top 10 a total of 7 times, 6 times the Cowboys ranked in the top 10 as a passing offense, 7 times they ranked in the top 10 as a rushing offense and 7 times ranked as a top 10 offense in receiving yards. Throughout the decade the Cowboys had one of the most consistent offenses in the NFL.
Play Action Passing/Balanced offense
Play action is a very important part of playing good football on offense. We saw a ton of the play-action game in Dallas and this past season we saw it in New York when Daniel Jones took over the starting job. In football you want to be able to attack defenses in all phases of the passing game from short, intermediate, and deep passes, but also in the play-action game. Balancing out an offense is key as well from passing to inside, outside, zone, and running in between the gaps. It’s important to stress all factors. All these things qualities factored into a consistent offense for the Cowboys. A one-dimensional offense will be very easy for opposing defenses and coordinators to game plan against something we saw heavily under the guidance of Ben Mcadoo and Pat Shurmur in their offenses.
When hiring a first-time head coach, especially one that is 38 years old it’s important to surround that young coach with quality veteran assistants that have gone through the ups and downs of the NFL. This is one of the biggest qualities to factor in when head coach Joe Judge decided to name Garrett his offensive coordinator. Garrett who has been a head coach for a decade and an experienced offensive coordinator before will be able to help serve as a much-needed voice to Judge's staff.
Running back success
Garrett’s time in Dallas came with terrific RB play. Starting back in 2007 with Marion Barber who made the pro bowl that season was not only effective on the ground but through the air as well. Between 2007-2008 seasons Barber would haul in 96 catches, for 699 yards, and 4 touchdowns. A few years later Garrett would insert the services of Demarco Murray who would go on to appear in 2 pro bowls while posting back to back 1,000-yard season in Dallas between 2013-2014. Murray also led the NFL in rushing in 2014 with 1,845 yards, and like Barber would also be an effective receiver that year posting 57 receptions for 416 yards receiving. The last stop on the RB tour is current Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott. Under Garrett Elliott has led the league in rushing twice, has rushed for over a 1,000 yards in 3 of his first 4 seasons, and in the last 2 seasons has totaled 131 receptions, for 987 yards receiving, and 5 receiving touchdowns. Running the football as well as utilizing the backs heavily in the passing game has been a big part of his system. With the Giants, he already has his guy in place in Saquon Barkley who like Elliott will be a perfect fit in his system with his ability to run and catch, as well as provide versatility to his scheme.
One area to watch closely in will be play calling. The last time Garrett called plays was 2012. He was a proven play-caller during his years as an offensive coordinator for the cowboys between 2007-2010. This, of course, was a large reason why he was promoted to head coach of the cowboys. Garret described being a head coach and calling plays as “2 separate jobs.” Now returning to the meadowlands he will be calling plays once again, but this should come with a bride side for the Giants who haven’t had an OC call plays since Kevin Gilbride did under Tom Coughlin. Since then we have seen their last 2 head coaches serve as play callers and did not work out.