As we near the 2019 season, hope for us Cowboys fans is high. And it is not unfounded. This year’s roster is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. We may have the most talent we’ve had since the 90s. We start 2019 with Jason Garrett entering his 9th full season as head coach of the Cowboys. Only 5 other current NFL head coaches have a longer tenure: Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh and Pete Carroll. All 5 of those HCs have won a Super Bowl. Garrett does have a decent record, at 77-59 and has won 3 NFC East divisional titles. But it’s the playoffs where he has struggled. Jason Garrett has some strengths. There’s no way you can have a winning record as a HC over nearly a decade without having some strengths. IMO, here are Garrett’s strengths as a HC: He motivates his teams to play hard. I’ve never seen a Garrett team just quit. He is a decent judge of talent. Garrett has to be given some credit for increasing the talent level here since he became HC. He has a consistent model of team processes. We laugh at his “process” but he is consistent with how he prepares his team, using most of the stuff used by Nick Saban. He does not make excuses. Unlike his boss, Garrett doesn’t blame injuries or make other excuses like blaming the refs for losses. He somehow manages to get decent results with the most meddlesome owner in sports. With those strengths also come his weaknesses. In fact, if Garrett cannot improve some of these areas of weakness, I believe we have probably seen all we will ever see from his teams. Here are his weaknesses: A lack of adaptability. Garrett’s greatest weakness is his inability to adjust on the fly, either in game or even in season. This is what has killed us in the playoffs. Stubborn adherence to his schemes and philosophies, even when they don’t work. He will stick to a game plan or player even when it’s getting pummeled. (See Atlanta, 2017, or rams playoff game last year) He is a poor in game manager. We have seen this over and over since 2010. He consistently does not manage the clock, timeouts, or situational decisions well. This is another area that can absolutely kill you in the playoffs. (See GB playoff loss in 2016) He is not creative. Being creative with schemes and use of personnel is critical in today’s game. Because of the salary cap, talent margins among all teams is much thinner than in the 90s. Creativity is a major skill needed in today’s game. As a whole, Jason Garrett is a better than average NFL HC, as his record indicates. But if we are going to ever see what we all hope as Cowboys fans- that we finally at least have another deep playoff run, then those consistent problems with adaptability, creativity and in-game management must change. Without those changes, we may have gone as far as we can with Garrett. Can Garrett improve in these areas? Your thoughts?