Time For Dallas Cowboys Observers To Get On Board

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Garrett himself went to Jimmy to pick his brain about coaching. Sat at the feet of the master for 3 whole days. Drove Jimmy nuts. He just wanted to fish. Even Bill Belicheck heads down to Florida from time to time to pick Jimmy’s brain. Belicheck and Garrett both come from football pedigrees, and I am for football pedigrees. I believe in them as much as anyone in the world can. Regardless of how successful someone might be as a Head Coach at some level of football, they could turn out to be a fantastic mentor. Usually guys who get chances in Head Coaching jobs learn at the foot of a master. Whether that be their Dad, a college Coach, or an NFL coach, they have to pick it up somewhere. Very few people can come into football from professional baseball the way George Halas did and be great. Yet even Halas had football roots. He was MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl as he scored the only 2 touchdowns of the game, one on Offense and the other on Defense.

So Tom and Jimmy both had that mentor appeal to them. I would argue that at Oklahoma Barry Switzer did have that. I don’t think he had it in Dallas at all. Barry wanted to be everyone’s buddy, especially drinking buddies. It rubbed players like Troy Aikman and Moose Johnston wrong. Troy was serious about football. It was his singular focus. Barry just wanted to be liked, and he knew Troy didn’t like him. I was told by someone from within the Cowboys organization that it was Barry Switzer who told Skip Bayless that Troy Aikman was gay. Barry assumed the conservative nature of the state of Texas would run Troy out of town. Instead, Cowboys Nation turned on Bayless instead of their 3 time Super Bowl winning QB. Big shock right?

Oakland Raiders v Dallas Cowboys

So Bayless ran with a story spoon fed to him by Barry Switzer, and it cost him the job he to this day admits he loved the most, covering the Dallas Cowboys. Do you think Tom Landry would have done something like that to Roger Staubach? Let’s not forget that Roger’s scrambling nearly drove the conservative Landry nuts. He preferred Craig Morton over Roger early on. He felt like he could control Craig. I can’t see Tom Landry doing something to undermine a player.

But that happened with Barry and ultimately it cost him his team. Despite winning a Super Bowl in Dallas the lasting memories of Barry as Cowboys Head Coach will always be the gun at the airport, and the hot dog at the Pro Bowl. According to Moose Johnston, at that Pro Bowl, he and other Cowboys were trying to talk LB Chris Spielman into coming to Dallas via Free Agency. I loved Spielman as a player. I think he would have been awesome here. He wasn’t going to play for a man who was doing something that was clownish. It didn’t matter to Spielman that the Pro Bowl was an exhibition game. That tainted him from coming to Dallas. Right or wrong, Barry shot himself in the foot with that hot dog. Better that than the gun.

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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.


    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



  • 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


  • 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.