The New York Giants’ hire of Jason Garrett to be their new offensive coordinator features far more positive than it does negatives.
The last decade in the NFL has seen countless memorable events. The New England Patriots won three Super Bowl in five seasons after not winning the big game in nine consecutive campaigns. Eli Manning held the Lombardi Trophy for the second time. And a doubted but young quarterback, one by the name of Lamar Jackson, led the Baltimore Ravens to a 14-2 record and a No. 1 seed in the postseason.
Many things have changed, and few have stayed the same. One of the tidbits included in the latter category was Jason Garrett’s tenure with the Dallas Cowboys. Garrett became the interim head coach halfway through the 2010 season, beginning his full-time role thereafter in 2011. After the 2019 campaign concluded, the Cowboys decided not to retain him for next year.
Just a short amount of time has passed since the conclusion of the Garrett era in Dallas, but the veteran coach has already figured out his next move. On Friday night, Garrett reportedly agreed to become the offensive coordinator of the New York Giants. He thus will replace Mike Shula, joining head coach Joe Judge on his newly-formed staff.
Giants fans, I’ll tell you this much: If you began to cringe when you first read the news, I understand. Garrett’s coaching reputation hasn’t been the greatest in recent years. He made little-to-no progress in his latest role with the Cowboys. In the nine full seasons as head coach (ten if you count the interim-coaching year), the Cowboys only reached the playoffs three times. Each postseason trip included a loss in the divisional round.
But I’m here to tell you that there are actually more positives to this move than there are negatives. When you look at it, there’s really only one true negative, which we’ll initially address.
Garrett, as you all know, failed as a head coach, especially in 2019. His team collapsed and ended up 8-8, missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. Not to mention, the offense, specifically, was definitely the most talented in the division. Dak Prescott at quarterback, Ezekiel Elliott at running back, Amari Cooper out wide, Jason Witten back in the mix as well.
Garrett failed this group of players. When Dallas jumped out to a 3-0 start, many were discussing how they could be Super Bowl contenders. That discussion ended up with no meaning, with the thoughts of that possibility disappearing into the Texas sun.
So yeah, Giants fans know what he’s about, which includes becoming a failure of a head coach. That’s why some may become sick at even the slightest thought to this hire.
But with one negative, comes a surprising amount of positives, all of which could greatly benefit this organization.
For one, Garrett has much experiencing developing quarterbacks. Tony Romo’s first full season as an every-game starter was in 2007, the same year Garrett was initially hired. The then-coordinator helped improve Romo, propelling him to end his career with four Pro Bowl appearances and one spot on the All-Pro Second team in 2014.
Fast forward almost a decade after Garrett’s first year with the Cowboys, and he’s in a position to develop a young quarterback again. Prescott became the starter in his rookie year due to Romo succumbing to injury. This led to the end of the Romo era, even when the longtime quarterback showed signs of improvement in his health. Prescott’s performance was too impactful for the franchise to let go at any moment.
All-in-all, Garrett guided a fourth-round quarterback — whom everyone seemed to overlook in the draft — to become a Pro Bowler and an AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in his inaugural pro season. Garrett would help to continue that improvement, as Prescott earned his second Pro Bowl appearance in 2018.
What to do the Giants have at the moment? A young quarterback — entering his second year, to be exact — who absolutely needs to develop. Daniel Jones showed flashes of great ability to succeed at the quarterback position last year, there’s no doubt about it. But the turnovers need to be suppressed and the knowledge of the position needs to increase. Garrett can help with either of those tasks.
Secondly, don’t forget Garrett was a sort of “boy genius” when he was the offensive coordinator in Dallas. From 2007-10, the Cowboys offense ranked 3rd, 13th, 2nd, and 7th in total offense, respectively. They also ranked 2nd, 18th, 14th, and tied for 7th in scoring, respectively. Not to mention, in that final year (2010), the team was without Romo for 10 games due to injury.
Fast forward to 2019, and although serving as a coach instead, Garrett is still using his offensive mind to the best of his ability. The Cowboys this past year finished first in total yards (431.5 per game) and sixth in scoring (27.1 points per game).
Today’s NFL is a passing league and a quarterback-driven league, there’s no avoiding that, and the Cowboys seemed to master that art in 2019. Dallas ranked second in the NFL with 296.9 passing yards per game and tied for fifth with 30 touchdown passes.
Garrett will take on a play-calling role while with the Giants, since Judge won’t call any of the plays on either side of the ball. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see how his playbook develops with a new organization.
But going aside from just statistics and numbers, there are additional reasons to be intrigued by this hire. For one, Garrett has nearly an entire decade of head-coaching experience. If Judge is stumped on anything, Garrett could be his go-to guy. If Judge still needs to work out the kinks of being a rookie head coach, Garrett will be there to assist him.
Judge possesses experienced help around him, and the guidance will do nothing but wonders for him while leading this staff.
And finally, Garrett is familiar with the NFC East. Yeah, he failed as a head coach in the same division. Nonetheless, he’s a coach who went 5-1, 5-1, and 5-1 against division opponents in the last three years. He also defeated the Giants each of the last six times he faced them while with Dallas.
Having said that, Garrett knows how to emerge victorious in the division, which is what the Giants will need to start doing if they want any shot at January football. Over the last three years, Big Blue possesses a combined in-division record of 4-14.
So if you felt uneasy the second you read or heard the news, it’s understandable. But when you actually sit down and process the move from the Giants, there are numerous reasons to believe this will turn out great.