After frantically searching and digesting everything that is Draft/ Free Agency related, IceBone is exhausted so unfortunately this article will not be Part III in my latest Mockery Posts. Instead this article is about the man in charge of carrying the Star to its next chapter.
After reading Tom Ryle's post in which he compared Jason and Jimmy, I was pretty excited. Excited because I feel the exact same way. However, that post didn't inspire me to write this piece. It was the Fan Post section where another post that took offense to Tom and in their part scorched him for being a drinker of the Blue and Silver Kool-aid, which inspired this article.
More after the Jump.....
First and foremost, I want it to be known in the past few days since that "Child Please" Fan Post I decided to interview a few candidates about the topic of Jason Garrett, and success by Cowboys Coaches. I wanted to get a perspective from different generations in order to really evaluate and form my own opinion for this article.
The first person I chose to interview was my Father. My Father is 70 years old, and I'm only 23; needless to say my Father got busy a little late; that means he was born in 1941, that makes him 19 years old when The Dallas Cowboys Franchise was created. So he spans the entire history to date of the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, one of his most proud moments was choosing to go into the Military during his college days at Baylor instead of another chance for a different gig. My Father still has a framed offer letter to try-out and become one of the Dallas Cowboys' first place-kickers, and Tex Schramm signed that letter. The point is not to gloat about the old man; it's to show the years he has been a Cowboys Fan and reason for wanting to have his opinion on this subject. The following was my Q/A session with Pops, and his opinion on the matter:
Q: What was your thought process, when you read the news that Jerry Jones had purchased the team, and that Tom Landry was to be replaced?
A: I was a little bit taken back, because I figured Landry deserved to at least coach to rest of his contract, and be given that honor and respect for all the years of winning, including the Super Bowls in 1971, and 1977. However the more I thought about it, the more I believed it to be the right move, because at that time our team was horrid, and had been losing. I also remember that so many had been calling for his head at the time, yet when the trigger was pulled it amazed people, and they immediately reacted with anger.
Q: Why anger? If the team was doing so poorly and a change needed to be made, why did the reaction suddenly change?
A: The only way I can compare it is the old cliché of not knowing what you had until it was gone. Tom Landry is a legend, and I don't want to take anything away from him, but he believed in his system. The system was what worked, and he believed he could plug any player in there and make it happen. I'm not saying he didn't care about his players, because he did. However when it came to Football he wasn't a Wade Phillips "Player's Coach".
Q: What was your opinion on the hiring of Jimmy Johnson, and the lasting impression he left on this franchise?
A: I was one of the only people I knew that thought at the time it was a good hire. Most people didn't have an understanding of what type of coach he was but I watched college religiously and knew he would shake this team up and bring them back. Oh and guess what son, I was right. As far as his impression with the franchise, He has left a remarkable amount of respect and honor for this team. So much so that there are a mass of people who can't get over that.
Q: Elaborate on that last part, Dad.
A: Listen, I understand how bad we want another Super Bowl victory as much as the next guy, if not more so. I'm 70 years old, and I know better than any that you have to be able to handle change. Change is a part of life, and it happens every day. Those who are my age, that live and revel in the past, need help. Landry, rest his soul, is gone, and Jimmy is never coming back, neither is Aikman, Irving, Staubach, Emmitt, or Lilly and White. It's over and done with. We have to move on and the "Next Man Up" happens to be a very intelligent, football-savvy individual who in time will continue to develop his knowledge and lead this team back to glory.
After that interview, I was very refreshed, to know that a man who has really watched this team since LeBaron, felt this enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of the Dallas Cowboys under the Jason Garrett regime. I share his sentiments exactly, at some point in time you have to either get in or get out. The Dallas Cowboys will live without you. The next person I interviewed was the father of a friend of mine who happens to be part of the Dallas Cowboys organization, but preferred I not divulge his name.
Q: Do The Dallas Cowboys need less input from Jerry Jones?
A: (Laughs) I know most fans believe that Mr. Jones calls all of the shots, and he is some big dictator sitting in a chair petting a white cat and creating controversy. The truth is he relies on the whole lot of us to feed him the right information. Stephen comes to mind when I think of someone who has a lot of input, and obviously Jason has been entrusted by the entire organization. Jerry Jones, in my opinion is one of the best owners in the league. He wants to win, period, end of story. He understands that at times we make some questionable decisions, and he admits his faults as well. I feel like he takes a lot of the blame when there are problems, but gets no ounce of credit for helping put together some pieces to get this thing going.
Q: You said that Jerry relies on all of you. Elaborate.
A: There is a majority of people that believe this team can't win until he relinquishes the GM tag. The guy has 3 Super Bowls; don't tell me he can't win another. Secondly, he wants input, all the time, especially at this time of the year when we will be making some tough decisions. He has done a tremendous job of making this team the marketing giant of the NFL, and continues to venture in endeavors with confidence to get the job done. He looks to his team, coaches and scouting department to help him put the right pieces together to give the fans what they want. That is all you can ask of the man.
I also have to agree on these answers, Jerry Jones loves this team, and everyone that can't get over the fact that he carries the GM tag makes me sick. This is not the first time this week that I have heard someone echo those sentiments. The break on the Mothership also stated recently about how much people don't realize how much he actually does rely on his staff. The last interviewee is a co-worker of mine, with whom I always argue about the Dallas Cowboys. He is one of those that doesn't believe in Romo until he wins a Super Bowl, who believes Jerry Jones is a problem, but has an interesting take on Jason Garrett.
Q: What was your reaction when Wade Phillips was fired mid-season and Jason Garrett took over?
A: It was time for Wade to go. Wade Phillips is a phenomenal defensive mind, and probably one of the best to ever be a defensive coordinator, but Dallas is a hard place to coach. Especially when you have a lot of players who are enamored with the glamour portion of being a Dallas Cowboy. Since the 1970's when the Cowboys were given that "America's Team" tag by the "Media", I feel it became harder to control guys and keep them from making mistakes. I'm not saying that Landry and Johnson were perfect with that but the team still showed discipline. Under Wade the team seemed to have lost all that Parcells instilled in them. Jason is bringing that back and it shows.
Q: What is your overall take on Jason Garrett as a Head Coach?
A: Well he's young, so unlike many others I have to give him a pass on some of the so-called mismanagement or poor adjustments he made this year. I think time will tell with Jason Garrett. He has been around football his entire life; his father has been considered one of the best talent evaluators in NFL history. He grew up around football along with his brothers who are also fine coaches. He has the intelligence, intangibles, and leadership abilities to be a great coach. He has statistically and figuratively improved this team since he took over. I like the way he preaches smart football, and situational football, and love how he treats the team like they have big shoes to fill. Jason Garrett is going to get the best out of what he has, and if they aren't ready to win, like Jimmy Johnson, (who coached him by the way) he will part ways with those players. He wants to win championships and he's on the right track.
That concludes my interview process and I like that none of the above were negative or pessimistic, and I expected my last interviewee to be that, seeing how much we differ in opinion but I like his take and have to agree.
There is a new process around Valley Ranch since Jason Garrett has been in charge, and it has shown progress. Yes, we missed the playoffs, and yes, coaching had some to do with it but overall, progress has been made. After all, Jimmy went 1-15 his first year and went on to win back-to-back Lombardi trophies. The point is patience. It has been a long time and we want to win. We just have to be a little patient and Garrett can lead them there.
I know at times we believe we have the right answers for every Cowboys woe, but we don't. We have ideas, we have inputs, but we don't make the decisions, and whose to say we would make the right ones? The good thing is we have free agency coming up, and we have a little money to spend, we can't possibly fix everything now, but you don't have to be perfect to win just look at our rivals up in the Meadowlands. We also have the chance to get younger with the draft and find upsides in some of our own i.e. Lissemore, Carter, Arkin, and Albright. 2012 could be a good year for the Dallas Cowboys, and I'm confident knowing that we have a good coaching staff to lead us into the off-season.