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Scary day

Today is the day that could alter the Cowboys franchise for years to come, but it won't be remembered as "the" day. Just like July 2nd isn't the day remembered as the birth of America. It was the day that the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, and the day that John Adams proclaimed in his diary as the one that would be remembered down through the ages with picnics, fireworks, parades and all-around good cheer. But the framers of that document had to deal with the procedural - like getting copies made, getting representatives gathered to actually sign the document, and then a public reading. That pushed the actual date of our country's independence back a couple of days to July 4th.

Today is the day Norv Turner visits with Jerry Jones at Valley Ranch. It's also probably the day - if you believe the inside sources - that Turner and Jones will reminisce about the glory days in the 90's, then decide to do it all over again. The decision could be made as early as today, but we probably wouldn't get official confirmation until sometime during the week. The procedural will kick back a few days the date we remember as the defining moment of this franchise for the next 4-5 years.

If Jones hires Turner, it won't be a celebration like the Fourth of July for me, but would probably have more in common with December 7th, a date that will live in infamy.

But I'm getting mixed-feelings about hiring Turner now. I was strictly against it this morning, but after I read Jen Floyd Engel's article, I am not so sure. No, she didn't convince me that my feelings about Turner were in error, she actually agreed with me! And that's the exact moment when I started to question my own reasoning. If Jen Floyd Engel is in agreement with me, then I immediately think that I'm in error!

From JFE:

If an excess of experts, gurus and possibly faith healers are needed for any Cowboys, look at the 11-plus lost souls on defense. They were the group that absolutely cratered in crunch time, giving up an NFL-worst 152 points in December.

In the words of one Cowboys insider, "This defense is broken." Not irreparable but definitely broken -- in spirit, in scheme and in talent in a few areas.

That's what I'm talking about. It's the defense that is hurting the Cowboys. Let's get that fixed. While JFE has a fascination with the Bears duo of Lovie Smith and Ron Rivera, she acknowledges that the one candidate who does seem to be in the mix is the right candidate for the job.
Neither [Smith nor Rivera] seems to have much of a chance, which is why Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is the next-best choice for Owner Jones.

Logic says, when your defense is "broken," you bring in the guy who ran your exact scheme, only better and with results, in San Diego. Especially when you realize Romo is the best thing this team has going at the moment.

Maybe it's my simple, Neanderthal mind that's the problem, but Jason Garrett is here to run the offense and tutor Romo. The Cowboys need someone to shake the defense out of its under-achieving ways.

Meanwhile, if you're resolved that Norv Turner will be the next coach, read this article out of a California newspaper. It centers on the quick rehabilitation of a career by Turner. After all, it wasn't long ago that he was just another fired head coach.

As it happened, Turner did find a job for the 2006 season, and all it cost him was $3 to cross the Bay Bridge. In fact, you could argue that his great and good work as the 49ers offensive coordinator was one of the Bay Area's top feel-good football stories of last season -- not that he had a lot of competition.

Turner did no less than transform quarterback Alex Smith from a bumbling rookie into a guy who mostly looked like he belonged in the NFL. He helped undersized running back Frank Gore set a franchise single-season rushing record.

Under Turner, the 49ers scored 59 more points than they had in 2005. They passed for 700 more yards, and rushed for nearly 500 more yards. They had two offensive players named to the Pro Bowl -- their first Pro Bowl selections in three seasons.

The public images were representative of the bounce-back. In 2005: A man literally wringing his hands while trying to explain yet another Raiders loss. In 2006: A calm, confident-looking guy spotted through the press box window, scanning his play card for another winner.

The rehabilitation has been so complete that today, according to published reports, Turner will interview for the Cowboys head coaching position vacated last week by Bill Parcells. Already there is both media and fan-base support for Turner's triumphant return to Dallas. If team owner Jerry Jones makes an offer, Turner will be gone.

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