Time For Dallas Cowboys Observers To Get On Board

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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.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys

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.

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  • SmartThinking

    Thanks for the rather verbose stroll down memory lane.

    One trait a successful head coach must have is his ability as a motivator of men. One! There are other indicators a coach needs to succeed in a league that is, in fact, changing itself.

    When I think back on Landry, I count his culture-building traits just as much as his instillation of a winning attitude. I’ve written about how much I admire those same attributes in Garrett, particularly his ‘the Right Kind of Cowboy,’ mantra and especially his ‘Next Man Up,’ philosophy. I never saw the latter in Landry or Johnson or even Parcells for that matter. The ‘next man’ strategy keeps all fifty-three guys focused on staying engaged and playing like they were starters. Very smart, particularly for a team missing several key components needed to move over into super star status.

    What I don’t see from Garrett is the one trait Landry built and Johnson and Parcells had … instilling discipline in his players, discipline in how they conducted themselves and how they approached the game. Landry had his showboats. They just didn’t last long wearing the star. Bryant would never have been a Cowboy under Landry.

    But, the game has changed.

    When I see Garrett treat his players as equals, no, let me put it another way, when I see Garrett move himself down to his players’ level, I see why there’s a lack of discipline on this team. It’s a little thing to Garrett because he still thinks of himself as playing the game rather than coaching players who play the game. Landry didn’t chit-chat with anybody and his players would have crawled naked over broken glass to play for him.

    If Dallas is ever to return to it’s Super Bowl-era dynasty, a dynasty ordained in this team’s very culture, Garrett may be the man to get us there. But, I maintain, he’ll have to separate himself from his players and believe in himself as a coach, then make sure his players play for him as a coach first.

    All the rest is academic.

    • Guest

      Completely agree with this statement. I don’t see Garrett being the fire this team and group of players need to motivate. It seems the players are more motivational than the coach and if you notice Marinelli fires up players which then in turn fires up other players…

  • Old Frog

    I may be a bigger Garrett fan than you are. There have always been a few of us lurking around, singing his praises when all others were ready to throw him out. I always loved that synchronized hic-cup set that Landry instilled with the O line. They appeared to be so disciplined. I’m pretty sure it intimidated lots of defenses.

  • JTracker

    I have come around 180 degree in my belief of HC Garrett i have new found respect for him. The boys just need more discipline cuz sometimes the lack of it comes out.

  • IRISHGENT55

    Mike put me on the list.I too believe in Garrett.Some teams may take a little longer to progress to the next level.Dallas being one. But stability in the house is a must.Patience with this team and coach will pay off.They may be young but they do see where Garrett is bringing them and not once have they questioned his leadership.Everyone makes mistakes as a coach but you learn from mistakes. HE too has begun to mature as a leader and as long as JG leaves him alone all will work out in the end

  • IRISHGENT55

    JJ NOT JG LOL

  • playmayker

    Great article Mr Burke. If the fans cannot see that this a completely different team in regards to character and determination, regardless of their record, then these people know nothing about sports. Keep this team in the direction they are on, and the wins will eventually come. I truly believe that. And let’s give credit to the man who is showing patience and letting this program develop, Mr Jerry Jones. Ignore the inane cries from ignorant fans and clueless media hacks. The rewards are just around the corner. Go Cowboys!!!

    • SmartThinking

      Thanks for the props, playmaker.

      The check’s in the mail.

      Love, Jerry

      • playmayker

        LOL

  • Unc Forrever

    Really enjoyed the article! Nicely done with the history and thoughts on Garrett. Keep up the good work Mr. Burke!

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    I agree. Garrett is the the right choice. For one thing, any coach with a history of winning would have little chance of coaching the Cowboys. Either the prospect wouldn’t want to work for Jerry Jones or Jerry Jones would not want a coach who might cause him to lose some of his control. Garrett seems to handle the job as well as it can be handled considering who he is working for.