Believe me, I do know that there are Dallas Cowboys fans who are sick of my excitement about our Head Coach. Part of me understands. I see his overall record as our Head Coach at 28-24, and it isn’t super impressive. I see the last 2 seasons falling short, and I know that isn’t impressive either. So what is it I like about the man and what he is doing in Dallas? I’m wired different. Winning and losing isn’t all I look at as it pertains to football. The quality I look for first is to ask myself a question. Is he building something here?
Without a doubt, my answer to this is yes he is. Jason Garrett took over for Wade Phillips in 2010. Consider this for just a minute. Of the current 53 man roster 39 players on it have never played for another Head Coach in Dallas. Of the remaining 14 players, 5 of them were rookies in 2010. That means only 8 players on this team got here before the season Garrett arrived as our Head Coach. They are Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Miles Austin, DeMarcus Ware, L.P. Ladouceur, Jason Hacther, Doug Free, and Orlando Scandrick. I submit unto you that no team in the NFL can match that rebuilding laundry list. He’s doing things the way our best Head Coaches always have.
Let me use our Head Coaches to illustrate what I mean. First is the man himself, Tom Landry. He came to Dallas from the New York Giants where he had been a player, then a player/coach, then a coach. He was a student of the game, creating the Flex Defense and reviving the shotgun offense. The beginning was not impressive. He was learning on the job, making mistakes, and there was some dissension at times. If the only thing people had looked at was Tom’s record they would have missed the entire point of football. Great men in coaching positions change lives.
Have you ever heard Tom Landry’s players talk about Coach? Have you noticed the reverence they have for him? You’ll even hear some of them refer to him as a Father figure. You will hear the same things said from UCLA basketball players about John Wooden. Bill Walton quotes Coach Wooden constantly. North Carolina players are the same about Dean Smith. I guarantee you that you’ll find the same about Chris Peterson at Boise State right now, or Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech. It definitely can be said about Coach Landry, and it can be said about Jimmy Johnson as well.