Several months ago there was rampant speculation about Jerry Jones brutally ripping a sensitive area of Jason Garrett's anatomy from its proper place. I refer, of course, to the departure of his brother and tight ends coach, John Garrett. Many felt that John was "encouraged" to move along as part of a move to emasculate the head coach. My own feelings at the time were that perhaps the subordinate Garrett was being held accountable by his brother for a lack of development out of John Phillips and James Hanna. In retrospect, my feelings on this issue have changed. I now believe that, like everything else he touches, Jason Garrett had this move well thought out in advance. What makes me feel this way?
For starters, it is clear that John Garrett had reached the highest rung on the Cowboys hierarchy that he could obtain, given the current personnel on the coaching staff. With an offensive minded head coach and an offensive coordinator firmly entrenched above him, he had no upward mobility. It would be logical for him to move outside the organization for his next coaching job. Although he eventually accepted a lateral move, it is one where he can advance.
In addition, John Garrett, as a player, was a wide receiver and then he went on to coach the position. As the Cowboys tight ends coach, his emphasis was clearly on the passing aspect of developing his charges. By all accounts, his time doing that has been a success. To develop the tight ends further would require that the focus be placed on the blocking aspect of the position. That task is one that John Garrett would not be the ideal coach to complete. Enter former assistant offensive line coach Wes Phillips. Having learned his job under the mentorship of both the legendary Hudson Houck and Bill Callahan, he would be the most likely man to teach the young tight ends the finer aspects of blocking. He was also a coach who had earned a promotion.
Based on everything I have seen, Jason Garrett does have a structured but flexible plan in place for getting the Dallas Cowboys from point A to point SB, and looking back at the moves of this off season, I can see how this staff change may have been something that he had in mind for quite some time. We have been told since day one that "It is a Process". This mantra that Garrett preaches has become something of a cliché for us, but it is something that a logical mind clearly would believe in. Jason Garrett strikes me as someone who enjoys a good game of chess. Like a chess master, Jason Garrett is thinking three, four, or even five moves down the road. I would be surprised to learn that he has not anticipated making this change early in his tenure as the head coach.