Jason Garrett processes his evaluation of his team's play in all three phases.

Garrett Isn't Being Undermined


People in Dallas have reason to believe Jon Gruden is going to replace Jason Garrett as the Cowboys head coach. After all, Jerry Jones is firing all of Garrett’s connections, stripping him of his play-calling duties, and meeting with Jon Gruden in Frisco.

To opine, it is media-fed speculation concocted to make this interminable off-season bearable. Nothing is going to come from it. In fact, Bob Sturm bet me that Gruden is coming to Dallas. Garrett is your coach for 2013. Deal with it.

Why journalism schools and media-writing courses in college don’t study the Dallas-Fort Worth sports media is beyond me. This “Gruden is replacing Garrett” myth is a textbook example of William Randolph Hearst’s news philosophy of shocking the public to sell newspapers.

Not to get highfalutin, but I remember learning about the four information biases in a “Media and Politics” class I took in the fall semester of my sophomore year of college. You can survey them yourself; I won’t bore you with the details. But it’s important to talk about this so you know where the Dallas-Fort Worth sports media is coming from. Their overall governing bias is the authority-disorder bias and always has been since 1989 when Jerry Jones bought the team. There were ceasefires from 1991-93 when Jimmy Johnson, who they mocked initially, turned things around and 2003-05, when Bill Parcells came to town, but all of the other 18 years have been told from the narrative that Jerry Jones is more meddling than Mystery Incorporated in a Scooby-Doo cartoon.

By the way, let me add this caveat. None of what I’m writing applies to Bob Sturm. He is one of the few members of the Dallas-Fort Worth media who either A) reports it as it is or B) calls it as he sees it. It’s why he’s the only one of the lot I follow on Twitter. Todd Archer is also worth a follow, but most of his articles get retweeted by my friends anyway. So what’s the point of following him?

Anyway, there are sub-biases that the Dallas-Fort Worth sports media use to promote certain stories. In the case of Jason Garrett, the bias they are employing is the fragmentation bias. They are purposefully ignoring the fact that every, single coaching hire has a connection to Jason Garrett just so they can frighten the schmuck out there and get another click on their websites. However, if you keep reading this article, I’ll show you the connections. Moreover, you’ll have no reason to be scared of the proposed He-Man/Child’s Play crossover snuff film, Chuckie Does Dallas.

  1. Monte Kiffin – This is obviously the big one that the media has spun to indicate Jason Garrett is a lone wolf amongst his own staff, that Jerry Jones is hiring coaches without input. Overtly, this evidence points to Jon Gruden’s entry to Dallas. However, Monte Kiffin may have had a strong hand in Gruden’s departure from the NFL. Furthermore, in 2004, Jason Garrett served as a backup quarterback before being cut. While his tenure in Tampa Bay was short-lived, it was enough that Garrett formed strong connections and gained a healthy respect for the other coaches. How else do you think Brad Johnson got to stay in Dallas with his obvious noodle arm?
  1. Rod Marinelli – This is more of a Kiffin hire than a Garrett one, but still has connections to Garrett nonetheless because Marinelli was on that 2004 Buccaneers staff. When Garrett went to Tampa Bay, it was Marinelli, not Kiffin, who served as assistant head coach. The fact Marinelli was promoted to assistant head coach in 2002, Jon Gruden’s first season, is a piece of evidence that could be used for fear mongering. But it is obvious Marinelli stayed in that Tampa 2 system wherever he went.
  1. Richard Bisaccia – Serving as the Buccaneers’ special teams coach from 2002-2010, Bisaccia was there for the entire Gruden tenure. However, he was there in 2004, when Jason Garrett served as backup quarterback. Also, Bisaccia served as the 2011 San Diego Chargers’ special teams coordinator under head coach Norv Turner. Therefore, Bisaccia is as much of a Garrett connection as anyone else.
  1. Derek Dooley – Tennessee’s former head coach has ties to the Nick Saban coaching tree, just like Jason Garrett. Dooley was Saban’s offensive assistant and special teams coordinator from 2000-04 at LSU and then followed his boss to the Dolphins in 2005. It is during the Saban era in Miami that Dooley and Garrett worked together as wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach respectively. Out of all of the other Garrett connections, Dooley worked with Garrett the most. If you’re keeping score, that’s 4 Garrett hires to 0 Jerry meddlings.
  1. Sam Gash – What a perfect name for a runningbacks coach. Overtly, he has no connections to Jason Garrett. Rather, his only connection to the current Cowboys staff is Rod Marinelli, because Gash served as Marinelli’s runningbacks coach during his stay in Detroit from 2006-08. But Gash stayed in his position when Jim Schwartz came to Motown and promoted Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator, who is still with the team to this day. It is through Linehan, who worked with Garrett in 2005 with the Dolphins as offensive line coach, that Gash has a connection to Dallas’ head coach.

Does that put things into perspective now? Jason Garrett is the driving force behind these hires. It is not a case of Jerry Jones preparing the way for Jon Gruden. It is a case of Jason Garrett preparing the 2013 Dallas Cowboys for a playoff berth. The least each assistant coach has accomplished is a winning season. These coaches are all part of the process.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jason Garrett Jon Gruden Monte Kiffin The Landry Hat

  • MontecitoTex

    You can follow Tex on Twitter, @montecitotex

  • californy

    I believe JJ is in negotiation with John Grudden, but that doesn’t mean that John will come. My guess is they may be talking about his role and JJ role in meddling with this team. Grudden has option he has a good job to fall back on. I am shock the boys want to recreate the 2002 TB Buck here in Dallas. If Kiffen can not create a 5th rated defense here in Dallas he is a step back in talent in 2013. It makes no sense to me to replace Jimmy Robinson when he develop both Laurant and Dez into two of the better WR in the NFL in back to back years. It not like Romo has not played well in the passing game having career number in back to back seasons. My guess is JG wants sheep, he purging anyone who challenges him. Skip Pete probabl;y got fired because he complain about the RB not getting enough touches. The boys run 35 to 65 in pass attempts, yup this is the RB coaches fault too, lol.

    • psu cowboy

      Wow. First off, check your facts. Robinson has been talking retirement since the end of the season. BEFORE THE SHAKEUPS, i believe. In fact, it’s the Dallas FO that is desperate to keep him. Secondly, it’s been said that the assistants hired actually DON’T want to work with Gruden. He had clashes with the FO in Tampa, WHY would Jerry (the “meddling” owner) WANT a “meddler” like Gruden on board? Think, people, think. Skip Peete. Last place rushing attack in the NFL. We could blame that solely on the Oline (and, for sure, some of the blame lies there), but what explains the difference in run game depending on which back is in? Or, to put it another way, why could Demarco run better than Felix and co? If you’re the GM and you believe (and, more importantly, your SCOUTS believe) that a player or group of players should’ve performed better based on talent alone, that’s on the coaches. And this doesn’t even being up the case that Demarco, Tanner, AND Felix all regressed this year. Maybe Skip Peete just doesn’t fit with the blocking scheme the oline runs. Case in point though: last place rushing attack. Nuff said. Why keep him around?

      • californy

        Who chose the OL, who chose the OL coach and his blocking scheme. Who chose Vicker over Fiametta, You need to get a clue to see this was not Skip Pete, it all on JG and JJ so make the needed changes there.

  • ddenis

    oh .i guess he likes fireing his own brother !!!!!!! smell the coffe.

  • pounda

    It stretches incredulity to its absolute limit to believe Garrett isn’t being dominated by the owner with the massive ego. Supposedly, Jason fired his brother and passing game coordinator for the good of the team. The wide receivers coach with whom Jason supposed has a great relationship has become nearly invisible, with Jerry saying his status might change. Supposedly, Jason chose to demote his own offensive play calling duties, just because he changed his mind–of his own volition–a few days after Jerry informed everyone there would be changes to make people uncomfortable.

    The Dallas Cowboys have become a joke. Jerry Jones’ meddling has turned one of the great sports franchises into an incoherent, crisis-management disaster area, virtually indistinguishable from the Raiders in the final few years under Al Davis. Hopefully Jerry will go gently into that good night, and we will have a chance to turn away from babbling lunacy and back towards at least sanity if not greatness.

    • psu cowboy

      Wow, what defies all logic and incredulity is that faced with evidence to the contrary, you chose to beleive this meme still. Without offering evidence of your own… At all. An opinion doesn’t count as evidence, or “fact”. This counts for yours AND the medias’ “facts.” Bring facts, or you stretch the limits of “incredulity” yourself. Wow. Some people are just dumb. Great article, btw!