Jason Garrett, NBC Sunday Night Football Screen grab: NBC

With Cris Collinsworth enjoying the remainder of the holiday weekend, NBC’s Sunday Night Football booth had a new voice, with Jason Garrett joining play-by-play man Mike Tirico in the booth for the Week 12 matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.

And while the largely lackluster 20-10 Ravens victory didn’t give the broadcast booth much to work with, the reviews for Garrett’s performance were mostly mixed, with his detractors pointing to the former Dallas Cowboys head coach’s reliance on clichés and a couple of awkward moments.

Meanwhile, others seemed to enjoy Garrett’s commentary, with the 57-year-old receiving particular praise for his ability to explain what was happening on the field and his unique references.

It’s not necessarily surprising that Garrett — or any fill-in analyst — would receive mixed reviews while joining a play-by-play commentator he has yet to build chemistry with. For all of the criticisms — fair or not — of Collinsworth, fans have become accustomed to hearing him and Tirico call games together on Sunday nights and changing that dynamic is sure to elicit at least some sort of negative reaction as viewers adjust.

While Garrett — who has been a polarizing presence on NBC’s Notre Dame broadcasts — had some awkward, albeit largely harmless, moments, he did an adequate job calling the game and his unique references were a breath of fresh air. All things considered, it would be tough to argue that the 2016 NFL Coach of the Year carries the cache or is polished enough as a broadcaster to be in the booth for one of the league’s weekly primetime games. But as a one-week fill-in? He did just fine.

Plus, if nothing else, spending a Sunday night breaking down Garrett’s performance provided a trip down memory lane to his nine-year tenure as the Cowboys’ head coach from 2011-2019.

[Awful Announcing on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.