Ever since Jason Garrett’s introductory press conference, Cowboys fans have been wondering how personnel decisions are being made in Dallas these days. Jerry alluded to giving Garrett final veto power that day, but Jerry retains the GM title and still blusters like he’s pulling all the strings. Garrett paints a vague picture of a triumvirate (including Stephen) making decisions together in happy harmony. We’ll probably never know who really wields how much influence, but an imaginary behind-the-scenes (and into the brains) peek into their strategy meetings this preseason reveals that the Red-Headed Genius is turning from puppet into puppeteer...
Cowboys Strategy Session: Post-Lockout Plans
Jerry: Whew, the lockout’s over and my fortune’s secure. We sure put those small-market boys in their place! Now that the bottom line is secure, let’s get back to the Super Bowl. We got the core of vets here already—our O-Line is back again, and Roy and Marion are looking good! Just need to add a few pieces here in free agency. My check-signing finger is itchy, who should we get first?
Jason: Actually, Stephen’s guys have crunched the numbers, and the cap’s looking tighter than we thought. The bad news is, we have to let some guys go. We just can’t keep Colombo or Davis. Or Marion. But it’s okay—you prepared us for this day. You drafted replacements for Colombo and Marion, remember? And you even found that kid Arkin, too. And the good news is we can afford to sign the other guys you brought to Dallas, Free and Kosier. Plus your boy Dez is looking really, really good. Imagine the glory of another Cowboy #88 in the Pro Bowl. He’s gonna make people forget all about…um…what’s his name? Right, Roy. You know what, I think if we’d let go of Roy’s contract, we’ll probably have the cap space to go after some good players for Rob’s defense. Why don’t you go see if Stephen can clear some room. This is gonna be a fun week!
What Jason Thinks: I can’t believe he’s buying this! I don’t think he even remembers how hard we had to twist his arm to get him to draft 3 linemen. It’s showtime, Stephen, got to get him to clear Roy’s salary off the books while he’s still dreaming about Dez…
What Jerry Thinks: Ya know, Jason’s right—cutting these guys now is gonna make me look like a draftin’ genius! But the fans aren’t going to be happy to say goodbye to their heroes Roy and Bigg and "MB3", never did understand that nickname since he’s #24... anyway, I gotta do something big to keep those fans happy. ASM-gwah? A-soom-WAH? AH-sum-way…heck, I’ll just call him Prime Time 2.
Strategy Session: Training Camp Check-In, Week 1:
Jerry: Whooo, what a rush! Love this football shopping thing. Stephen gave me a budget, so I’m gonna get Nnamdi locked up first thing. You sure those youngsters have what it takes to fill in the gaps?
Jason: Absolutely, sir—you drafted them, so I know they’re going to be great. Just like I know you can close the deal with Nnamdi. But start with Free and Kosier. We take care of our Cowboys family, remember? That’s the Cowboy Way you’ve always followed. Tell you what. Me and Houck are on top of this offensive line situation. Priority Number 1 is special teams: I need you to find us a kicker!
What Jason thinks: Rob promised he could convince Nnamdi to take Philly’s money, so it can’t hurt to let Jerry chase him while the market calms down. This would all be so much easier if Jerry could grasp the concept of a 3-year plan…
What Jerry Thinks: Find a kicker? Heck, I can find five.
Strategy Session: Training Camp Check-In, Week 2:
Stephen: Sorry, Jason, Dad couldn’t make it to the meeting today. He told me to tell you that he’s on the phone with Cromartie’s agent, but really he’s in his office crying his eyes out over Nnamdi. That was a close one. I can’t believe Rob actually said those things about Nnamdi’s momma straight to him on the phone. Anyway, the good news is my dad will sign anything we put in front of him right now. Who’s up next?
Jason: Rob says we’ll definitely need Hatcher, Elam, and Coleman, so get those done. But keep it reasonable. And don’t let Jerry talk to Sensabaugh—he’ll want to give him Ken Hamlin’s contract.
Stephen: When are you going to tell him about Gurode and Holland? He’s not going to take that well. I could bring in Waters to distract him, or maybe Braylon Edwards or Steve Smith…
Jason: Stephen, snap out of it! Remember your "life mantra."
Stephen: I am not my father. I am not my father. I am not my father…
What Jason thinks: Sheesh. Do I really want to do this for the next 20 years?
Strategy Session: Training Camp Check-In, Week 3:
Jerry: Okay, okay, I confess:: I’ve been talking to Scandrick’s agent. I know you told me not to, but there are no free agents left and I had to do something. Besides, once I get him signed, we’ll have three starting CBs, just like the Eagles. Players rise to the level of their contracts, like I always say. Speaking of rising, how’s the rehab going for Gurode and Holland? Got to get my beefy guys back out there!
Jason: Come on, Jerry, if you’re going to give big money to Scandrick, we’ll have to cut back elsewhere. Good thing you drafted so smartly. All those undersized white guys out there on the OL, reminds me of the exploits of a certain scrappy underdog lineman for the Razorbacks not so long ago. Your plan to replace Gurode might just happen sooner than you thought. Go ahead and sign Scandrick; I’m sure the fans will love it.
What Jerry thinks: Yep, my master plan. Funny, I don’t remember talking about replacing Gurode, but otherwise why would I have drafted Costa? Oh well. The Scandrick deal is already signed, so I guess Gurode will have to go. Danged Goodell and his salary cap!
What Jason thinks: Scandrick? I don’t love it, but I can’t win them all and it could have been worse. Maybe I can leverage this into cutting Igor as well…
Strategy Session: Final Cuts
Jerry: No, no, no, no! This list of cuts is unacceptable! Why would you do this to me???
Jason: Calm down, there’s a reason for everything here. Wade forced you to draft half of these guys, you were so smart to get rid of him for Rob. Rob needs your guys, not Wade’s guys. Look here, on the roster: McCann—your guy. Tanner—your guy. Holley—your guy. Hey, have you talked with Mike about the next season of 4th and Long yet?
Jerry: Yeah, and he promised me more face-time on the next one. But forget all that. You want to cut my kicker! You said I could choose the kicker, and I want David! He was so close last year, and he promised me he won’t miss any more extra points. Besides, since they moved the kickoff line back, having a kickoff specialist is extra important this year. I WANT MY KICKER!
Jason: Wait, they moved the kickoffs the other…nevermind. Okay, I’ll see what I can do about Buehler. He told me his hip is still tender, so I may have to keep Bailey around for a while. Well, I guess I could cut Montrae to make room for Buehler if that's what you want…
What Jerry thinks: I love this guy. He does exactly what I want him to do.
What Jason thinks: I love this guy. He does exactly what I want him to do.