I harken back to the days of Bill Parcells and even further back to the great days of Jimmy Johnson when 50 plus men on the Dallas Cowboys, averaging a weight of probably 265 pounds with the ability to bench press a Volkswagen were scared to death of their head coaches. Not physically mind you but just plain scared. They played every day like their job was in jeopardy, like they could have a pink slip in their locker on any given day.
They thought this because it was the truth. It happened! Ask Curvin Richards. It was not only the fact that their head coach controlled their ability to make a living, they got in their head. It's the craziest thing. But you know what, these players respected it. And the ones that did their jobs wanted that kind of coach.
I remember when Jimmy Johnson left the team and Barry Switzer became the coach, Charles Haley said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that he was glad that Johnson was gone because he hated that this man was always screaming at him in his face. Well, how successful have the Cowboys been since then?
When Parcells was coaching, Drew Bledsoe said that he couldn't wait until Sundays for the game because that was the only day that Parcells wasn't screaming at him. But this is what these guys need. NFL players are not accountants. They are highly paid, highly talented, highly motivated and full of testosterone. Without a strong hand guiding them they will self destruct! From the outside looking in, it appears that the Cowboys are missing this.
I think Jason Garrett brought some, lets call it structure, to the Cowboys after Philips left but I would hardly call it discipline. Garrett is upbeat, focused and certainly makes every effort to keep his team focused. He is a walking cliché. After every loss it's the same thing. We have to get better in all three phases of our game. We took what the defense was giving us. Our focus is on our next opponent. That whole chestnut. Basically he is not making excuses and he isn't offering explanations and he is keeping things in the clubhouse so to speak.
For the most part this is probably the thing to do. But he doesn't seem to instill true discipline in his team. There is no fear and I think there needs to be. These guys need to be concerned about consequences. They need to be so scared of their coach that they don't want to stand next to him on the sidelines when he is mad. Now, I may be over doing it here a bit but that's the gist of it. Ok, so that being said, we know how the Jimmy Johnsons of the world handle things. What about the Tony Dungy's of the world. Is he the exception? You never really saw him flying off of the handle and getting in guys faces and shouting profanity did you? He is a religious man, so I perceive he didn't allow that kind of language around him.
So, why was he so successful? I think there was definitely a healthy respect and healthy fear of him from the players. In fact he and Jason Garrett seem to carry themselves the same way. Dungy seems to have a no non-since sternness about him and perhaps something as little as that can be a difference maker. We have to remember that Garrett was a quarterbacks coach with 2 years of experience before he came to the Cowboys. He had this label on him that he was next big thing, The next big Sean Peyton and I kind of fell in that same circle to be honest. But I think that it was premature and Jerry made an emotional decision. With experience comes credibility and I think ultimately Garrett lacks both. I still think he can be an effective coordinator with the right head coach but I think he still has a ways to go to make it on his own. I'm ready to see him lose it, get pissed off. I want him to have a Denny Green moment at a press conference. I want him to go all Herman Edwards on us. Perhaps a little Jim Mora. Something! Give us some fire. Stop shaking the pom poms, clapping your hands together and show some real fire. Get in someone's face, it will make us feel better. I promise!
Please comment and let me know if you agree with this assessment of No Fear In Dallas.