Many a Cowboy fan rejoiced when the team finally parted ways with longtime head coach Jason Garrett. The common discourse suggests that while Garrett is a competent coach, he was the biggest factor in preventing this talented roster from reaching its ceiling. They now hope Mike McCarthy can change things for the better.
Deion Sanders disagrees. He went on Undisputed with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe at their outdoor studio down in Miami for the Super Bowl to explain that the problems plaguing the Cowboys didn't have as much to do with Garrett as they did the makeup and personality of the team:
"You have to have those type of guys that are willing to go to the next mile and make a play and be a dog," Sanders said. "The problem is not Jason Garrett, who is gone, but the playcaller is still there. The problem is the personality of this team, and the makeup and the composite of this team," said Sanders. "It ain't no Michael Irvin out there... You can't point that to Jason Garrett. You got to point to personnel. I don't feel like they have the right personnel to command what they deserve to have."
The general sentiment behind Sanders' comments is a classic trope that the coaches can do everything they can, but ultimately, the players play the game. And he has something of a point; as he mentions, the Cowboys' defense is lacking in playmakers, and the offense indeed does not have an Irvin-like personality who always makes the big play when needed. But a competitive attitude only goes so far. Amari Cooper isn't any less dangerous just because he doesn't go up to Dak Prescott and demand the ball in big situations.
We'll never know for sure without being in the building, but the true answer to what went wrong with Dallas last year probably lies somewhere in the middle. Garrett was outsmarted on a regular basis, but the players were also outplayed. But next year will prove just how far the blame should go in either direction with a new coach at the helm.