Dallas Cowboys fans are very happy after this weekend.
Not only did their beloved team roll to a 30-16 victory on the road against the Green Bay Packers, but they now sit at 5-1 headed into the bye week, and occupy the pole position to take home the NFC East divisional crown.
Additionally, the Cowboys’ pair of offensive rookies, Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott, have been perhaps the two most impressive rookies in the NFL. Zeke currently leads the league in rushing, while Dak has rolled to five straight victories and was yet to throw an interception until his trip to Green Bay.
It’s safe to say things are going well for the northernmost team in the Lone Star state.
However, amidst all the talk of Dak, Zeke, the offensive line, and the overall play of the Cowboys, one man has gotten lost in the shuffle: Jason Garrett.
While the Cowboys’ head coach would be the first man to tell fans to give the credit to the players, it’s hard to imagine this Cowboys team working as well as it does without the longest tenured coach in the NFC East. After all, Garrett built this offense, and has managed the Dallas locker room to the best of his ability over the years.
Now, it seems he is finally reaping the benefits.
Consider this, since Garrett’s first full season as Cowboys head coach in 2011, he has won 45 games. No other team in the NFC East has won that many games since 2011, and all of them have made a coaching change. So while the Eagles and Redskins were cycling through coaches, and the Giants were toiling on the tail end of the Tom Coughlin era, Garrett was honing his offense in Dallas, hoping to build a long-term contender that could dominate the NFC East for years to come.
This year it appears he has it.
If there was any question about how Jason Garrett wants to play football, fans need to look no further than the draft picks the Cowboys have made over the years. Dallas honed in on stud offensive lineman, building the best unit in the league, and now have Elliott as the cherry on top to one of the most dominant rushing attacks in recent memory.
That idea conceptually came from Garrett.
Since Garrett took over in 2011, the Cowboys have finished outside the top ten in rushing exactly once. This is a man whose offense is predicated on the ground game, maintaining time of possession, and keeping his defense off the field. It’s based on this mantra: If the opponent’s offense never has the football, they can’t score.
Garrett has mastered this idea, and now finally has the personnel to execute it.
While there is still a lot of season left, and plenty of time for the Cowboys to choke, the 2016 version of this team plays exactly how Garrett likely envisioned it would when he took the job. Their physical lineman pound their opponents, opening up massive lanes for a superstar back, while the duties of the quarterback are limited to quick, dink and dunk passes that keep the defense honest.
Turnovers are kept to a minimum, while Dallas controls the ball for large swaths of game time.
There’s a lot to be said about how they’ve executed this strategy in the past, but the 2016 Cowboys aren’t just winning games, they’re dominating. Every fan in the world wants to credit Elliott and Prescott for the massive change, but upon closer examination, it’s obviously the work of Garrett.
It’s time the Dallas head coach got the credit he deserves.