The Dallas Cowboys are in a tailspin. They've lost three games in a row by a combined score of 92-22, and have dropped to the very fringes of the NFC playoff race.
Just a year removed from a 13-3 season, Jerry Jones is not yet panicking, and while he didn't necessarily offer Jason Garrett his full-throated support, he, either. But the Cowboys locker room may have some different feelings about Garrett.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the players are growing frustrated about the team's lack of adjustments and simple game plan.
"Owner Jerry Jones has been outspoken in his support of Jason Garrett and his coaching staff," Rapoport said. "However, inside the locker room, a little bit of a different story. I'm told there's growing frustration from the Cowboys players about their coaching staff. And it really stems from two things.
"One, just the lack of adjustments that has gone on over the last couple of weeks. The Chaz Green disaster at tackle when Tyron Smith was out was just one example (where) the team did not help him and really didn't alter their game plan when it was clear that he needed some help. That was one issue that certainly has left the players grumbling. Another one is just how simple they are. I had one person tell me that Philip Rivers, out on the field on Thursday night, was actually calling out the Cowboys blitzes before they happened on the field. Not a good sign for the Cowboys. And obviously a huge game this Thursday (vs. Washington) where they really need to bounce back for."
Look, most teams publicly espouse a "next man up" philosophy, but when the next man up obviously can't do the job, you have to adjust. And most quarterbacks as experienced as Philip Rivers can identify the blitzer on any given play, but if they're doing it every single time, you're obviously not disguising things well enough.
The Cowboys coaching staff was the toast of the league last season as Garrett was named Coach of the Year, Scott Linehan's play-calling was widely praised in helping Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott break out, and Rod Marinelli got credit for getting more out of a defense than the sum of its parts. In a less healthy season, their limitations have been exposed.
Jerry has been far more patient with Garrett than his previous coaches, and if he's losing the locker room after all these years, maybe we finally do see a coaching change in Dallas this offseason.