Jason Garrett: Why Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Should Remove Interim Coach
You heard it here first, folks. Jerry Jones needs to remove his interim head coach Jason Garrett and he needs to do it now.
"But he had a great first week!"
"But he has already changed the culture around the Dallas Cowboys for the better!"
"But he won his first game as head coach! He beat the New York Giants, the team everyone was calling the best team in the NFC, and he did it at the new Meadowlands in convincing style."
You got me there.
"Then what are you talking about? This is crazy talk."
Maybe. But I stand by it. Hear me out.
If you check the archives of my website, you will find that I have almost exclusively reserved my criticism of this team's leadership for two people: Jones and Wade Phillips.
Jones for his ego, which constantly interferes with his good sense. Phillips for his lack of leadership ability.
My criticism of Garrett, however, has been sparse. At times, I have questioned his game planning or inability (or unwillingness) to make in-game adjustments. I have always believed in him as a leader. I have always believed in him as the single best candidate to be the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
Forget the re-treads. Forget the "big names." Forget Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and company.
The next head coach needs to be three things.
First, he needs to be a bona fide, stand-up, take-charge leader. Second, he needs to be able to manage Jones. (Managing Jones is not the same as being Jones' puppet, Wade.) Third, he needs to be a football man, to understand the NFL game and what it takes to win in this league.
There is no question that Cowher and Gruden exceed the first and third requirements. We have no idea, however, how they will do with No. 2, who happens to be No. 1 in the Cowboys pecking order.
It matters not how great a leader or football man you are, if you cannot manage the Jones ego, you have no shot at long-term success in Dallas.
Which means Garrett is a better candidate for this job than any of the big names you can throw out there.
Moreover, this is not the time for another Bill Parcells-type interlude in team history. The last thing this organization needs is another three- to five-year stint from a head coach.
Stability is wanting around here. It is difficult to imagine that any of the Super Bowl ring-wearing free agent coaches out there would stick around for more than five years.
The next coach Jones hires needs to be the last coach he hires. Look around the league. Even in this environment of constant churning and turnover, the best franchises—the ones that remain competitive year after year—still have stability at the head coach position.
The six-time Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers have had exactly three coaches in the past 50 years. The team of the 2000s, the New England Patriots, continue to contend for championships with Bill Belichick, who is in his 11th year as head coach of that team.
He has a chance to hire the man Troy Aikman says has been preparing himself for this opportunity since the early nineties.
He has a chance to hire the man Jimmy Johnson says will change the culture of his team for the better.
He has a chance to hire the man one Giants official said could be anything he wanted to be, including president of the United States.
Those who know Garrett the best, those who have worked with him, watched him develop, believe in him most. That seems to include the one man whose privilege it is to unilaterally select the next man to guide this football team.
So, fire him, Jerry. Do it now. Remove Garrett as interim head coach and give him the job permanently. Rip that term "interim" off the plaque on the door. End the speculation. Make whatever phone call you have to make to satisfy that Rooney rule and then hire the man best equipped to give you one last glorious moment before that great stadium in sky calls your name.
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