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Jason Garrett: Want To Know What Kind Of Leader He'll Be?

Jason Garrett, Head Man In least for the interim.
Jason Garrett, Head Man In least for the interim.

Back in May of 2008, Jason Garrett spoke to a formal dinner about leadership skills. He gave eight tips for being a leader, and they're almost all grounded in football references. That's perfect for us; it gives a small window into what kind of coach Garrett will be.

Jerry Jones spoke of culture change a lot yesterday. In this particular case, we know that's just a euphemism for - Wade had lost the team, we needed someone with a new approach, perhaps a not-so-friendly approach. In other words, someone who will create a little conflict that in turn may create a little fire in the players. What the Cowboys need more than anything else right now is to be woken up out of the stupor they're in. This team is lifeless, and Wade Phillips couldn't change that because his personality wouldn't allow it. For all the times we discussed "a new, tougher Wade", he just couldn't change his stripes. 

Jason Garrett seems like a different kind of cat altogether. Garrett seems distant from his players, not so chummy. He's smart, and he knows it, but that can sometimes come across as arrogant. He seems like he's a very direct guy, so you can see him saying what's on his mind to players, and that might be some heavy criticism. He'll do things his way - or as much his way as Jerry Jones lets him - you get the feeling he's a "my way or the highway" kind of guy.

Watch this press conference and form your own snapshot of Jason Garrett.

Below, read about his leadership tips...

Here are three leadership tips from Jason Garrett. Read the rest, here.

He talked about coaching Terrell Owens, a future Hall of Fame receiver, who is known to be a difficult player. He said that he told him (a Hall of Fame receiver) and the rest of the team that no matter who was on the field they would be coached.

Lesson – Learn from everyone around you because there is always something to improve.

Coach 'em up, I say. If they give you the business, bench 'em.

Success is 54% body language, 40% tone of voice, and 6% words. I don’t know how Jimmy Johnson got those numbers, but it explains why he was able to create such a passionate team. When he spoke to us he got us excited and ready to win.

Lesson – Use your body and voice to convey confidence.

It doesn't have anything to do with coaching ability, but Wade Phillips' body language, facial expressions and tone of voice were never his strong suit. This probably has a lot to do with the culture change the Cowboys are looking for. Garett speaks about Jimmy Johnson in the tip, and I can vouch for it. When I interviewed the coach a month ago, he had that commanding presence, you just felt like he was in charge.

Tony Romo (Quarterback for Dallas) told me that he wanted to run a "Three wide split." I thought to myself that is the stupidest play. Their defense is perfectly designed to stop that. I wasn’t sure what to call because it was something like 3rd and 20, so I called it. Tony looked back at me and I could tell he was smiling. The throw went to Owens and he scored a touchdown.

Lesson – Let people do what they think is right because they’ll make it happen.

Or, put another way, this tip could mean don't think your so smart that no one else has a good idea. This is one Garrett needs to remember, some of the criticisms leveled at him seem to center on his out-smarting himelf.

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