Jason Garrett vs Mike McCarthy

Now that we have had 3 years of Mike McCarthy, I’m going to do a head to head comparison of the first 3 years of Jason Garrett and Mike McCarthy. Then, for a bonus, I’ll point something out that I’ve noticed about Mike.

Jason Garrett:

2011 (first full year) – 8-8 – Garrett showed some promise this season. The team really should’ve won the division in 2011. Unfortunately, the team collapsed and allowed the Giants to win it all.

2012 – 8-8 – this was about when things looked to be meh with Garrett. One of which was an absolute demolition we had on Monday Night against the Bears. We were also unable to stop RG3 as Washington swept us that year.

2013 – 8-8 – This season featured some heartbreaking losses against the Chargers and Broncos (this was the game where we learned what a morale victory was). We also got absolutely embarrassed against New Orleans. This was a game where it appeared that Garrett was completely outclassed. No matter what the team tried, Sean Payton was 3 steps ahead. Romo was injured in the win against Washington, and Orton would take over the next week against Philly and lose. This secured our 3rd straight 8-8 season.

Now for Mike McCarthy:

2020 6-10 – Painful year. Granted, there was a situation that year that prevented a proper offseason schedule. Additionally, we had 4 different QBs start that year. However, the defence was the worst we’d had since possibly 2013. This was McCarthy’s fault as he brought in Mike Nolan, who clearly didn’t work.

2021 12-4 (WC Loss) – The Cowboys sacked Nolan and replaced him with Dan Quinn and drafted Micah Parsons. It was during this season that the defence really improved. The Cowboys offense played well, and we won a game with Rush starting against the Vikings. This is an improvement season. We also saw adjustments being made during games. Ultimately, the Cowboys had a solid season, but lost to the 49ers in the WC Round.

2022 12-5 (WC Win, DR Loss) – the Cowboys finished with a similar record, but played well. Especially since we had a backup playing for 5 games who won 4 games. The team won a playoff game against the Bucs before falling to the 49ers.

I use 3 years as, just as with a QB, you sort of know what you have at HC by year 3. I think Mike has taken this team higher than Garrett did in their first 3 years. He also has been better when it comes to using a backup QB as Garrett couldn’t use one. This is highlighted by the fact that both coaches had Rush, and Rush has been much better under McCarthy. This shows that coaching matters. As for what I’ve noticed. Under Garrett, there were games when things weren’t going our way, and the team would give up. He didn’t adjust well. McCarthy is the opposite. There’s always seems to actually be a plan for each team as opposed to copying the same plan every game and daring the opposite team to stop us. He also adjusts, which was noticeably lacking with Garrett.

Moral of the story, coaching matters. A competent coach, as this story shows, makes a world of difference.

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