The already young offseason has brought forth a tidal wave of change at Valley Ranch. Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones promised an uncomfortable offseason and, so far, it has been exactly that.
But many felt, and rightly so, that this particular level of discomfort wouldn't necessarily apply to head coach Jason Garrett, obviously a personal friend of Jones.
The seemingly abrupt firing of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan wasn't even the first personnel move on the Dallas coaching staff, but it certainly began the loudest message. Having been completely responsible only for the offensive side of the ball, Garrett seemed to be safely removed from harm’s way as Jones, above all else, decided he was done with the 3-4 defense.
Now, hiring Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator was likely advised by whomever Jones sought advice from following the season-ending loss to the Redskins in Washington. It would not have taken too much advice to see that the Dallas 3-4 alignment was more than simply not getting it done.
But things start to tighten up when you see that defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, a former NFL head coach himself, has now been added to the coaching staff as Jones takes complete control of his franchise.
As general manager, it is Jones’ job to do what he is doing. The question is whether or not what he is doing is right or wrong—with Jones it often breaks down with that kind of simplicity.
And Jones apparently isn’t done.
Rumor has it that Jones now seeks to get his offensive play-calling in better hands.
Again, it’s his job to do this.
The question, in this case, is who.
Donald Duck would be an upgrade over Garrett calling offense, so this could really end up being anybody—which brings me to my whole point.
We already knew that Garrett would have little, if anything, to do with defense no matter what his title is or was. That was pretty established upon his arrival prior to former head coach Wade Phillips, a defensive coach, obviously.
Now it’s being acknowledged in a few ways that Garrett’s offensive prowess isn’t exactly the bill of goods we’ve been sold for so long.
Did you really feel that Garrett deserved an uncontested path to the head coaching position in Dallas following Phillip’s midseason firing in 2010?
Was his offense really that good?
It would be one thing if Garrett’s offense was guiding the Cowboys to conference championship games in numerous seasons, or even a Super Bowl win, and then Garrett takes over after Phillips retires or something.
But nothing like this happened at all.
Jones now has to also remove play-calling stripes from Garrett in similar fashion to the way Parcells handled former offensive coordinator Sean Payton not long before his first head coaching job.
But Payton has a Super Bowl win as a head coach already.
Garrett is suddenly just trying to hang on, it seems.
Already there are decades and decades more experience in the assistant coaching ranks than Garrett has, and for now this is on the other side of the ball.
But if it’s also clear that Garrett won’t be calling offense, then one has to wonder exactly why he is here in the first place.
Have you seen anything as a head coach that’s been any different than what you saw when Garrett was offensive coordinator?
Of course not!
In fact, the Cowboys have arguably gotten worse.
Depending on who arrives as a play-caller, it’s clear that the herd of Garretts at Valley Ranch is thinning a bit.
Tight ends coach John Garrett, older brother of Jason, has strangely been invited to pursue employment elsewhere. After all, what did he do as tight ends coach with Martellus Bennett?
Nothing—and no word on the other brother, Judd, over in the scouting department.
It’s telling that the position concerning the older Garrett even went public, to be completely honest.
When I last worked in the radio business, my younger brother also worked on the air right after my daypart. Had I ever learned that he wasn’t welcomed there any longer, I would have probably quit on the spot—but it certainly would have been uncomfortable!
As a head coach, Garrett has less and less to stand on these days, and given what has transpired over the last two weeks, nothing at all would surprise me.
Is Garrett’s head coaching job in jeopardy?
Right this second? Probably not.
Be willing to bet money on it? No.