NFL.com’s media analyst Gil Brandt should know a great head coach when he sees one. He worked alongside one for 28 years…Tom Landry. Brandt was Vice President of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1988. He along with Landry and team President and General Manager Tex Schramm made the Cowboys America’s Team. So when Brandt talks about coaching, current Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should listen. And in his latest article for NFL.com, Brandt believes the Cowboys should hold on to current head coach Jason Garrett in order to cement the franchise’s identity.
“Great organizations have a solid identity and don’t change with the wind. They don’t shift their schemes suddenly or make erratic changes in strategy, because they have a carefully considered plan to begin with. This comes from taking a consistent approach to the draft, contracts and what you do on the football field — and that’s where the director of football operations would come in. Continuing to stick with head coach Jason Garrett would also significantly further this objective. I know Garrett well, and I know what kind of person he is and how extremely smart he is.”
Garrett’s current contract expires at this end of 2014. And with the team posting three consecutive 8-8 regular season records without a playoff appearance under his full-time regime, many expected the first-time head coach to be on the hot set this season. But according to what Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last week, that is simply not the case.
“It’s no secret that we probably are shoulder to shoulder on the success we’d like for this team to have with him as head coach and what it would do for our fans’ future, our future. He’s more capable today than he was when he took over as head coach. If that arrow is going up, it just makes sense to have our future with Jason.”
According to Garrett, Jones and himself haven’t discussed the future. The young coach is simply too focused on the present. And Garrett doesn’t seem worried as he looks upon the past three years a little different than most.
“We’ve played in the Week 17 game to win the division the last three years. We put ourselves in the position to achieve our immediate goal, which is to win the NFC East. Hopefully that takes us on a path to be a Super Bowl champion. We feel like we have the guys to do it.”
And although Brandt thinks Garrett will ultimately be the right man for the job, it doesn’t mean that change isn’t needed in his philosophies. In fact, the former Cowboys personnel man thinks the entire franchise could benefit from playing a bit more Moneyball.
“This isn’t to say that the team shouldn’t adapt to the times. In fact, taking a proactive approach to things like football analytics — which the Jacksonville Jaguars are doing with mind-boggling alacrity — can be an important part of shaping an organization’s identity. Statistical analysis has the potential to change the league in the same way that the advent of computer technology did 25 years ago, and keeping up with that can ensure that the Cowboys continue growing and getting better in a grounded, smart way.”
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