Does that sound nice to you?
It’s not reality but certainly an idea that is being speculated around Dallas Cowboys Nation. The acquisitions of Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli have certainly fueled those rumors. The idea of reuniting the old Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff seems to be one that many are fantasizing about.
Would this be the right move though?
Gruden is a proven head coach who has won a Super Bowl, and in this era of the National Football League that’s all that matters.
But what’s behind that Super Bowl win?
Gruden is a fiery guy who lets his emotions show during games. He is also a great offensive coach. Despite all that, I’m left to wonder how good of a head coach he is.
Reports have surfaced from some of Gruden’s former players that highlight Jon Gruden’s character as a head coach. In an article by Michael David Smith of NBC Sports, Keyshawn Johnson talks about his time with Gruden. Here’s a sample:
“When your psyche is messed with, and you don’t want to be around the organization or team, you just want to do whatever you can to get out of there,” Johnson said. “And that was the situation when I was under Coach Gruden in Tampa”
In a separate article by Sports by Brooks, Simeon Rice was quoted via Sirius NFL Radio as calling Gruden a “scumbag” for the way he handled the end of the decorated player's career.
So what value do we put on this?
Well, it could just be a bunch of players participating in everyday slander. Another way to look at it is by seeing two very good players voicing out about an uncomfortable situation that they didn’t want to participate in.
None of this should really surprise anyone; there is always drama around the NFL so this doesn’t come as shocking.
Currently the Cowboys have a head coach in Jason Garrett. Garrett and Gruden are actually quite similar. They both have offensive backgrounds and they both started with two 8-8 seasons.
Just in case you missed it, Jon Gruden started his career with two 8-8 seasons.
If you’re really late to the party, that’s the reason most people want to replace Garrett with Gruden.
Another comparison is offensive output during those same time frames. In their first two years, Gruden’s offense ranked 18th and fifth in yards, while Garrett’s has ranked 11th and sixth.
Look, I get the want to change things in Dallas. The Cowboys are coming off of two disappointing 8-8 seasons that had high expectations. What I don’t get is where the strong desire for Gruden comes from.
The Cowboys have a coach who is dangerously similar to Gruden in Garrett. Garrett may be more reserved emotionally but he’s also a true leader of men and a man that the Cowboys players respect. All this was apparent in numerous interviews by players and the way he handled the passing of Jerry Brown Jr.
You can say what you want to say, but Garrett isn’t the only coach who struggled in the beginning of his coaching career. Let me introduce you to some others: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Dick Vermeil and Tom Landry.
It’s time to embrace the change that’s already arrived and see what Garrett can do as a true head coach. You may have your arguments about Garrett and that may be fine. The truth is you’ll have at least one more season with him.
After that, regardless of outcome, I’d likely still take my chances with Garrett over Gruden.