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Jason Garrett, Jerry Jones, And Keeping It Real

The discussion of whether Jason Garrett is on the hot seat or not this year is well underway. Maybe this should wait until the team plays a game or two.


I picked a bad week to try and give up on rants about bad Dallas Cowboys memes.

OK. I never really had any intention of that. It just seemed like a funny line to start with. And besides, it is a never ending source of material when you are trying to maintain a balanced and informed view of America's Team. A few days ago, I went off on the obsession with who is going to be calling the offensive plays for the Cowboys this year. My point is that who is calling the plays is fairly unimportant. It is the results that matters, and that is a much more involved process than just who is going to be on the headset with Tony Romo. I just figured at the time I would not be back at the whack-a-mole endeavor of fighting ideas that miss the real point quite this soon.

And then, along comes another article that is, if possible, even more off point. This one takes umbrage that Jerry Jones tried to cut off speculation about whether Jason Garrett's job is on the line this year.

Jones wants to divert attention from Garrett's job status, which, in realty, should be in doubt, to something else. It's Jones' job to distract everyone from the reality of the situation: Jason Garrett's job is on the line in 2013.

Ironically, a few days before, I had already discussed this very idea with KD in his latest podcast. To summarize my thoughts about the situation, no head coach in the NFL can be sure of his job from year to year. Any team can fall flat on its face, and if the head man is perceived to be the cause or unable to correct things, he will likely be fired. In the case of the Cowboys, there is a lot of evidence that Jerry Jones truly wants Garrett to succeed, and believes that he will do just that this season. In that light, as KD so succinctly put it, just what the hell else was he supposed to say? "Yep, you know, Jason should know I am ready to kick him out the door, gotta get that glory hole now before the window closes."

Let's see. It is one week into the OTAs, which means that there have been three days of practice with the whole roster. The draft is not that far behind us, and Jerry was, as I recall, in the war room and involved in making the first round trade and then picking the players that are hoped will improve the team. And I suppose he had a bit to do with what UDFAs wound up getting signed, or at least ventured an opinion on things. The defensive scheme is completely changed from the 3-4 to a new version of Monte Kiffin's trademark 4-3, the offense is looking to go with a heavy reliance on the 12 formation, and so far things look to be off to a pretty good start in practices. So, yeah, I am sure it would be very helpful to come right out and say that things will get better this year or the head coach will be clearing out his office. That certainly worked well for Jeff Lurie and Andy Reid last year, right?

Oh, by the way, congrats to Jeff for his recent marriage. To Tina Lai, a lovely woman. 22 years younger than him. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And he did one thing for her that shows he must truly love her and care deeply about her happiness.

Lai will have no official role in the Eagles organization.

Anyway, back to the Cowboys. They play their first game of the season on September 8th. That is over three months from now. We still have the rest of the OTAs, minicamp, triaining camp, and five preseason games between now and then. A lot can happen between now and the start of the regular season, and then there is that little matter of how many games Dallas will actually win.

Right now, I think Jerry is totally focused on that last fact, and he probably harbors a great deal of hope that the wins will be in double digits, with an NFC East crown and a chance to do much more in the postseason. I seriously believe the question of having to fire Garrett is very, very far from his mind, and he is really trying to get people to not bring it up again and again.

Good luck with that. The subject is way too popular in some circles, no matter how irrelevant it is to how the team is doing in installing the new elements and integrating the new personnel. It is a good hot button, or should I say, hot click topic. Easy controversy, and all you need is an opinion and a bit of speculation.

I was particularly amused at how the firing of Dave Campo after three 5-11 seasons and the dumping of Wade Phillips after the 1-7 start in 2010 were used as evidence that Jones is trigger happy. It is a little unclear to me how those equate to two 8-8 seasons, both just one win away from a playoff berth, and the last plagued by key injuries. And it totally ignores Jones' expressions of regret for letting Chan Gailey go too soon before Campo got the job. Additionally, it seems to discount there being any possibility that Jones and Garrett might have a good working relationship and a bit more trust than with some other head coaches, based on the long history the two have.

This is only a meaningful issue if Dallas has another lackluster season. If the team does get to 10 wins, especially with a week or two left in the season, it becomes totally pointless. Talking about it now is just a cry for attention. There is plenty more to write about, like how the left tackle situation is playing out, or if the pass rush is looking like what Kiffin and Rod Marinelli want.

But I guess that is too optimistic, and not what is expected of the real sportswriters who work at the major outlets. Thankfully, I don't have to meet those kinds of expectations. And as a fan blogging about my favorite team, I can even indulge in some optimism. Everyone can't be so lucky, I guess.


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