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Cowboys close in on Jason Garrett, but for what role?

As has been noted in various comments, Jason Garrett is expected to be hired in some capacity by tomorrow, and is a candidate for the head coaching job.

According to knowledgeable sources, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has decided to hire Jason Garrett at least to be Dallas' offensive coordinator -- and possibly to be the successor to retired head coach Bill Parcells.

A source told ESPN's Ed Werder on Wednesday night that Jones considers Garrett -- a former backup to quarterback Troy Aikman -- to be one of the most promising offensive coaches in the league and was so determined to bring him back to the Cowboys organization that he would have been added to Parcells' staff had Parcells decided to coach the final year of his contract.

The Cowboys could appoint Garrett offensive coordinator to secure his services while eliminating the Dolphins from the equation. Then Jones could deliberate whether to appoint him as the head coach later after interviews with other head-coaching candidates, primarily San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips or San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

Well, this is all happening pretty quickly, which tells me Jones had a plan in place for a while. Garrett looks to be coming on board, but we'll have to wait and see in what capacity he ends up.
Ultimately, Jones must decide whether he's willing to sign a veteran coach to a three- or four-year contract to allow Garrett to gain experience as a play-caller before eventually promoting him to the top job. Or, Jones may decide he's willing to endure the risk of immediately putting a talented Cowboys team in Garrett's hands now.

The DFW S-T delves more into the Jason Garrett story, but also has some Wade Phillips news.

San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said the Cowboys have asked and received permission to talk to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

It's unknown when Phillips would come to Dallas and interview with the Cowboys. He was in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl with the Chargers on Wednesday and had a flight scheduled to return to San Diego early Thursday morning.

Phillips is one of the NFL's premier defensive coaches and the architect of the Chargers' 3-4 scheme, the same scheme used by the Cowboys.
"I am out of clothes so I plan on making the flight home, but I am hoping to get back to Dallas," Phillips said Wednesday night.

The Cowboys interest in Phillips coincides with their interest in Garrett, who was interviewed Wednesday for the offensive coordinator and head coaching positions.

Guess who helped interview Jason Garrett?
Although he retired Monday, Parcells is still at the team's headquarters where he is serving as a sounding board and advisor to Jones for rest of the week. According to a source, he had a lengthy closed-door meeting with Garrett.

Garrett went back into a closed-door session with Jones about 4:30 p.m. and was there well into the night.

While Garrett, 41, seems like an out-of-the-blue candidate, consider that the trend in the NFL is to hire young, energetic coaches. Look no further than the recent hires in Oakland (Lane Kiffin, age 31), Miami (Cam Cameron, 45) and Pittsburgh (Mike Tomlin, 34) so far this off-season. New Orleans (Sean Payton) and the New York Jets (Eric Mangini) made the playoffs last season with young coaches.

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