There has been a popular notion so far this off-season that Jerry Jones has been pulling all the strings on every move the Dallas Cowboys have made. Yes, he is the one who promised things would be uncomfortable in Dallas, but allow me to play devil’s advocate; Jason Garrett has more control than you think.
Looking at some of the moves that have been made, it would be easy to say that Jones is behind them because he was mad at the way the season ended and he let it be known changes were coming. While there is no doubt the owner wanted to get better after two average seasons with Jason Garrett at the helm, take a closer look at the moves and it is very realistic to believe that Garrett had just as much say as Jones did.
Let’s look at the firing of Rob Ryan and if we look a little deeper into the situation, we realize that Garrett may have admitted he made a mistake hiring Ryan in the first place. Ryan is a loud-mouthed, expressive coach who isn’t afraid to tell people what he thinks. In other words, the exact opposite of Jason Garrett. Ryan frequently boasted about how good the Cowboys defensive players were, but when did you hear any of that kind of talk from Garrett? Garrett is more of the old school; his philosophy is to say as little as possible and maybe he and Ryan didn’t mesh well. After all, we did hear a toned down version of Ryan in his second year as defensive coordinator and that could’ve come at Garrett’s request.
Then came the hiring of Monte Kiffin and people were mystified by the choice. People love to claim this as a Jones hire but its Garrett who has the connection to Kiffin when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, when Kiffin was the defensive coordinator. Other coaches on the Bucs staff during Garrett’s year in Tampa include Rod Marinelli and Rich Bisaccia. So please don’t tell me this was all Jerry Jones’ doing because its Garrett who knows these coaches personally and has seen their work up close.
Like most people I have connected the Jon Gruden dots to the Cowboys and it’s fair to wonder if there’s any validity to those rumors, but it’s just as easy to see Garrett’s finger prints all over the changes. Garrett’s philosophy has been building on this Cowboys team for two years and it’s certainly possible that his staff now, more than ever, reflects that. No more coaches filled with bravado, just hardworking guys who want to get the job done. Think about it, when was the last time you heard a shocking quote from Monte Kiffin or Rod Marinelli?
This Cowboys coaching staff is now made up of people more in the image of Jason Garrett than it was in his first two years; quiet coaches who love the game of football. That is not to say that Rob Ryan or any other coach the team let go didn’t feel the same but it’s a more focused group that will work towards results instead of headlines. Does that last statement seem like Jerry Jones to you?
No, Jones isn’t behind all of these moves without collaboration from his head coach. I’m guessing Jones had more to do with replacing Garrett as the play caller, but that change was necessary and I think Garrett knows it. One of Garrett’s sounding boards is Jimmy Johnson and as everyone knows, he is a proponent of Garrett giving up that job so it’s not as crazy as everyone thinks it is to believe Jason Garrett is on board with the decision. As Jones said yesterday, Garrett will still be involved in the offense so it’s not like he’s out of the loop.
For two years now Jason Garrett has been trying to build this Dallas Cowboys franchise back up to what it once was. He’s trying to build a successful team for now and into the future, something I’m sure he sold Jones on when he hired him as head coach. I know how impulsive Jones is but I find it hard to believe that Jones, who once hired Garrett before he hired a head coach, would give up on him now. It’s possible that these changes have been made for the betterment of the Cowboys with, not against, Jason Garrett.
Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have made these moves together because they were needed. Nobody within the Cowboys organization believes 8-8 is acceptable and they are working to change it. They, not just Jerry Jones.
Sometimes people can rush their judgment and make assumptions, and we all know what they say about assumptions.
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