The Pro Bowl is supposed to be a fun event and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett embraced that to the fullest. He was the coach of the NFC squad Sunday and threw every weird idea he could think up at the AFC.
It didn’t work much. The NFC lost 26-7 and didn’t even score their first points until the fourth quarter. But Garrett definitely let them have fun, and that counts for something, right?
Garrett took ‘Feed Zeke’ to a whole new level
The Cowboys offense lived and died by how much Ezekiel Elliott was fed the ball in 2018. Dallas probably should’ve fired Scott Linehan much earlier in the year for struggling to feed Elliott with any consistency. They finally did it after the Cowboys lost to the Rams in the Divisional Round.
So with Linehan out and Garrett calling the shots for the NFC, Elliott got fed plenty — except not much at running back.
Elliott lined up at quarterback:
He ran a fake punt:
Elliott even got to try his hand at rushing the passer:
PRO BOWL PASS RUSHER ZEKE ELLIOTT pic.twitter.com/kCBzBo7Kcm— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) January 27, 2019
It wasn’t just Elliott who got to do a little bit of everything, though. It seemed like Garrett let NFC players try just about anything they wanted.
Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, Mike Evans got defensive snaps too
Not long after Elliott made an unsuccessful attempt at sacking Deshaun Watson, Garrett let two more running backs — the Saints’ Alvin Kamara and the Giants’ Saquon Barkley — line up on the defensive line.
Not to be outdone, Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans got to play a little bit of defensive back and locked down Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry. First, he knocked away a pass to Landry. Then he intercepted another — leading to one of the silliest, lateral-filled plays imaginable.
That apparently inspired the AFC, who started letting defensive players play offense. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey even caught a touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson in the final minute.
The NFC got blown out from start to finish, but Garrett enjoyed just about every second of it.
The many faces of Jason Garrett pic.twitter.com/GkMkgsEtsN— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 27, 2019
It really doesn’t matter who wins the Pro Bowl and all the silliness ended up being fun to watch. And it was a little surprising to see it come from Garrett, a coach who is known for being a robotic and boring presence on the Cowboys sideline. Early in the game, it looked like it would be more of the same.
The most Jason Garrett thing of all time. He’s “aggressive” in the Pro Bowl but then runs a fullback dive. . It’s the Pro Bowl. Y’all don’t have anything more creative to run there?— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) January 27, 2019
This fun version of Garrett was a welcomed change.