A quick stroll through the national media jungle this morning shows a lot of skepticism about Jason Garrett being anything more than an interim solution for the Cowboys. Well, they've been proven wrong before.
The Sporting News asks, can Jason Garrett be more than a stopgap?
Is Garrett the right guy? Taking over as interim coach, this is Jason Garrett's chance to prove he is ready. It won't be easy. Some players quit in recent games, and Garrett's work as an offensive coordinator has been second-guessed. Super Bowl-winning coaches are available, like Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren, Jon Gruden and Brian Billick. Garrett, 44, must impress Jones quickly to keep his eyes from wandering.
NFL.com' Steve Wyche thinks real change has to wait in Dallas
Dallas could win a few games to finish out the season, but with the Eagles and Giants playing the way they are, the Cowboys have no shot at staging some miraculous playoff run. So even if Garrett gets this team to show some progress -- keep in mind what was said before, he was among those who had "no answers" against the Packers -- Jones is going to have to go outside of this circle to make things better.
ProFootballWeekly.com also sees Garret on an extended tryout for the permanent HC position
It has been thought for a while that Garrett would be next in line to coach the Cowboys. Garrett has come under fire in recent seasons for his offensive play-calling, so it will be interesting to see if he can get the players to perform with more urgency and better fundamentals. He will have eight games to prove to Jones that he deserves a shot to be named the permanent head coach after this season.
NFL Fanhouse believes Jason Garrett essentially has an 8-week job interview with Cowboys
Now, Jones is likely to pursue a big-time coach who can take charge and restore respectability the way Shanahan has done so far in Washington. That's why names like Cowher, Gruden, maybe even that of John Fox (whose contract is up and isn't expected back in Carolina) will come up during the process. But the 44-year-old Garrett has something those other guys don't have right now -- the job itself. And eight weeks in which to prove he can do it.
ESPN's Matt Mosely thinks its a long shot for Garrett to be named permanent coach
I don't think Cowboys fans are thrilled with Garrett, but he was certainly impressive during his first news conference as head coach. He constantly talked about "moving forward" and said this team would reflect his personality. I've never been able to detect any personality with Garrett, but perhaps his new role will force him to take a different approach.
I still think it's a long shot for Garrett to be named the permanent coach, but he'll at least have the opportunity to lead the team for two months. If the Cowboys could go 4-4 the rest of the way, it would be a minor miracle. Jones said he'd be looking for "tangible success."
The National Football Post wonders whether Garrett can win in Dallas
This is a major opportunity for Garrett. Call it an on the field interview, because that is exactly what it is. This isn’t a playoff team. No doubt about that. Instead, Garrett has to show owner Jerry Jones that he is more than just a coach with an “interim tag.”
We know the names that are going to be on the coaching market. Big names. Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, most likely John Fox once he is given the boot from Carolina, and coordinators like the Saints’ Gregg Williams. Jones has more money than anyone in the league, and we could see a situation where he tosses millions to bring in that sexy name.
Former NFL coach and current NFL Network analyst Jim Mora believes fixing the Cowboys starts with cutting Jenkins
"To me, this is high treason," Mora said. "An NFL football player does not turn down a play like that. And if I’m Jason Garrett, the first thing that I’m doing when I take over as the head coach of this team, is I’m getting guys like that — number 21, who absolutely committed treason, let his team down by passing up a tackle and let the ball get in the end zone — I’m taking him and I’m getting him out of my locker room."
"Guys who are not willing to lay it on the line for me and my football team, for this organization, I identify them and I either try to change them quickly, and if I don’t think I can change them, I try to get rid of them."
Jerome Bettis on SI.com is calling for a 'tough guy' and name-drops - you guessed it - Bill Cowher.
If the losses continue to pile up, Jones will go in a different direction at the end of the season. And if he does, I believe the Cowboys' next coach needs to be a tough guy because the players' coach mentality obviously didn't work with Phillips.
A hard-nosed hire can whip this team into shape. There's one accomplished, Super Bowl-winning coach on the market that fits that description. I wrote earlier this season that I expect my old coach, Bill Cowher, to return to the NFL very soon, but not with the Cowboys. And I stand by that now. But that shouldn't stop Jones from exploring the possibility.
USAToday asks: "Is Jason Garrett any better than Wade Phillips?"
I think Wade Phillips had to be fired. I just don't think now was the time to do it. For starters, as bad as the Cowboys have been, they might end up worse off in the long run. Handing this team to Jason Garrett, even as an interim, means putting an unproven coordinator in charge at a time when he's struggling just to run one half of a bad club. Imagine how the walls will close in when he has the whole show to manage.
Cold, Hard Football Facts.com deliver a rehash of the tired old "Curse of Flutie" story.
The Curse has haunted Phillips and the Cowboys into the 2010 season. Dallas was a huge preseason favorite to win it all in many circles back in August. Dallas is the biggest laughingstock in football here in November. Falls from grace have rarely been greater than the one we've seen out of the 2010 Cowboys.
And these falls from grace have become commonplace for any team that employs the architect of the Curse. If Phillips had simply done the right thing and played Flutie during that Tennessee game back in 1999 it all would have unfolded quite differently.