By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
Remember when Jason Garrett was rumored to be a strong candidate as the next Giants’ head coach?
There was a sudden swell of overwhelming negativism early this year toward bringing the former 10-year Cowboys’ leader to New York, mainly due to his lack of winning the big game. There were a few in the majority like myself who believed Garrett could be a good hire, while most had a chuckle or a guffaw with the thought.
Admit it, you did.
Well, get ready, Giants’ fans, Garrett’s reign as offensive coordinator has begun, and he will play an integral part toward the Giants’ success this fall.
This isn’t Garrett the head coach, it’s Garrett the offensive coordinator. He deserves the chance. The laughs stopped when Garrett was hired as the OC. Pair his knowledge to an aspiring rookie head coach. Not a bad deal.
Garrett certainly is an upgrade from Pat Shurmur, Mike Shula, and Ben McAdoo, whose playcalling the last few years was a long head scratch.
New head coach Joe Judge had made it clear that this will be Garrett’s show to run, and expectation are steadily rising with Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley as the two, young, stud centerpieces….flash back to the Garrett’s Cowboys’ days with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott as his two prized thoroughbreds.
Judge can envision the sets.
“I think, schematically, the easiest way to describe it right now to the outside world is that’s its’ going to be similarly based on what Jason Garrett has done in Dallas over the last 10 years or so,” said Judge earlier this season when asked about the offense’s proposed look. There’s going to be some similarities catering to that, but it’s got to cater to the players on our roster.”
On the surface, that doesn’t appear to be an issue.
Besides Jones and Barkley, the Giants have tight end Evan Engram, and wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate back after they all spent too much time on the sidelines with injuries last season.
Garrett can once again implore the combo of one tight end and three wide receivers –sometimes referred to 11-personnel – with the Giants, and the potential could be as productive or better than it was with the Cowboys.
In Dallas last season, Garrett and with offensive coordinator Kelvin Moore – they truly did collaborate – produced one of the league’s most potent offenses with the 11-personnel.
Some facts were: an average of nearly six years per rushing attempt; 7.16 yards per play; third-down conversion rate of 48 percent; Prescott threw for 30 touchdowns, 4,900-plus passing yards and rushed for nearly 8.5 yards per carry; and Elliott was second in the league with 1,357 yards.
Overall, Dallas led the league in total offense with an average of 431.5 yards and 27 point scored per game. In his six years calling plays in Dallas, Garrett always had the Cowboys near the top of every offensive category.
In his 10 years at the controls in Dallas, Garrett won his share of games and had a strong repoire with his players. His downfall came as a result of being second-guessed about some of his playcalls, apparent misuse of some of his offensive weapons (Amari Cooper last year), and a 2-3 postseason record.
Yet, his caveat of an 85-67 mark and three NFC East titles wasn’t too shabby, but that part of his resume may come back into play down the road.
Still, this isn’t about a head coach; it’s about bringing a version of the high-powered Cowboys’ offense East.
Remember, this is a Giants’ team that won four games last season and was marred by an inept head coach, an injured star running back, and a rookie quarterback with fumbling issues last season.
Give Garrett a chance. The waning pressure over the last 10 years has been turned off.
He has the tools and the controls. Now it’s time to let him have some fun.