If you haven’t heard the news already, the Dallas Cowboys have decided to move forward to the 2020 season without renewing Jason Garrett’s contract and while many people are happy with this change in the organization, I do have some words to say about him as he looks ahead to his next venture.
For one, even if we never won a Superbowl or got to the Superbowl under his leadership, I don’t want for one second to think that it was a waste of time or resources. Regardless of winning or losing, his faith and investment in his players has had a lasting impact. Now I’m not saying that this decision by the Dallas Cowboys is wrong or even mean because, in reality, we live in a results-based culture and in every job, we are evaluated by our performance.
But I will say that something that has bothered me for a while is our ability as Christians to forget the humanity and perspective of another person’s situation. It’s been clear over the last several years of people’s distaste for Garrett’s playcalling and leadership and while I haven’t always agreed either, it hurts me to see the amount of unleashed bashing that takes place in our conversations and social media about somebody and their job performance.
It’s almost like people forget that Ephesians 4:29 applies to ALL circumstances and in all conversations,
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (NIV)
This doesn’t mean we can’t have difficult conversations or hold people accountable because frankly, the Lord calls us to that as well. Not to mention, we can’t even guarantee that our words won’t be taken wrongly even despite our intentionality to be sensitive to people’s emotions.
But the reality is that in sports, it’s almost like we forget that we have the ability to disagree with someone’s decisions without tearing town their character. What many people forget to realize is that Jason Garrett is just as human as anyone of us. He has his own problems and just like all of us, emotions are a part of his DNA.
This picture of Jason hugging his wife struck me recently as I was reminded that he’s a human with feelings who put his all into his job as he stands on the field for probably the last time.
One thing that Jason Garrett is famously mocked for is the fact that he is seen clapping at all moments of the football game even after a bad play call or mistake. For others, this has been something they hated about him, but for me, it’s actually something that I admire.
You see, I can relate to Jason Garrett in the sense that I don’t like focusing on the negative and in most cases, I don’t like being frustrated. It’s not that I think frustration or anger is wrong, it’s just I don’t consider it a right or a privilege to feel that way as most situations that I deal with don’t warrant such a reaction. So when I see Jason Garrett clapping on the sidelines for his team, I don’t see someone who is unaware of the consequences of the game, I see somebody who is looking past the current circumstances and is choosing to see hope in the future. I can imagine that his positive attitude has done more for the team than people realize.
We all have to realize that even though these players and coaches are getting paid massive amounts of money to be on these teams and to play/execute, at the end of the day, it’s still JUST A GAME. You’ll even see that in the most prominent athletes in each sport, the ones that have made massive impacts are the ones that saw themselves outside the game and have realized that there is more to life than the sport they played professionally.
My goal here is not to condemn or even speak out against the decision, I honestly think it’s for the best. But for so many of us, let’s keep things in perspective and not let ourselves get swept away into thinking that sports are more than what they are. It’s totally okay to be competitive and be passionate about sports, but let’s not let it compromise our greatest mission here on Earth and that’s to point people to Jesus.
Regardless of how you’ve seen him coach over the years, I have to thank Jason Garrett for his Christian leadership in the Dallas Cowboys organization and his hard work that has gone into leading this team for the last 10 years. May God guide you to the next step in your journey!