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Is Jason Garrett’s Insecurity Hurting The Dallas Cowboys?


Rumors have been bouncing around the Internet this week, like this article from Pro Football Talk, suggesting the Dallas Cowboys are quietly shopping for an offensive coordinator. Allegedly, owner and general manager Jerry Jones wants to take play-calling responsibilities away from current head coach Jason Garrett. And rumor has it that Garrett is resistant to the idea, because he’s afraid of losing his job to a more experienced coach.

Sept 16, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett waits in the tunnel before leading his team on to the field against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Dallas, 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Is this really the best way to find the right fit for the Cowboys’ offense? Obviously not. If one man’s insecurity is the main deciding factor for determining the candidates for the job, it’s a flawed process from the start.

The best available offensive coordinator on the market was former Cowboys’ assistant coach Norv Turner. Turner was recently fired as the head coach for the San Diego Chargers. That ship sailed earlier this week as he accepted an offer to join the Cleveland Browns coaching staff. But why didn’t the Cowboys make an effort to get the best OC out there? Allegedly, Garrett is so insecure about his current status with the team, that he only wants to interview candidates without NFL head coaching experience.

That would mean former NFL coaches like Chan Gailey and Ken Whisenhunt wouldn’t even be considered. Gailey, who finished 16-32 after three seasons with the Bills, has had little outside interest since his firing at the end of last month. In turn, Whisenhunt didn’t last long on the open market as he was swept up by the San Diego Chargers as their new offensive coordinator.

Garrett’s hiring restrictions could also be a possible reason why new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was hired in the first place. Not only is Kiffin 72 years old, but he has also never been an NFL head coach. Garrett would not consider Kiffin a threat to take his job. Which makes him the perfect hire for the apparently fragile head coach.

Garrett’s insecurities could also explain the early departure of former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Ryan was expected to make the jump to NFL head coach at some point in the near future. That was prior to his defense’s mediocre play this past season. Ryan would have been a viable candidate for replacing Garrett mid-season if things went south this year. Instead, He is now in talks to become the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams.

Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett’s alleged resistance to hiring his possible replacement could also explain why Arizona’s defensive coordinator and former Cowboy Ray Horton was not considered over Kiffin. Horton moved on from the Cardinals to become the Browns new defensive coordinator on Friday.

Two of the best offensive coordinators currently on the market include current New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and former Tennessee Titan’s offensive consultant Tom Moore.

Carmichael has been with the Saints since 2006, when he was hired as their quarterback’s coach. He took up the mantle of offensive coordinator in 2009. Carmichael is expected to turn down recent interview requests from the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles in-order to remain in New Orleans.

Moore is actively searching for an NFL offensive coordinator job after spending the last couple months with the Titans. The 74 year-old coach has three Super bowl rings and is widely credited with the development of Peyton Manning while he was offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. Two of his championship rings were earned as an assistant under legendary Pittsburgh Steelers’ coach Chuck Noll.

Neither coach has ever been an NFL head coach…or a head coach of any kind actually. So they both should make perfect candidates for the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator job according to Garrett. But would hiring a less experienced coach be the best thing for the Cowboy’s offense? Garrett doesn’t seem too concerned with that. He seems more interested in doing what’s best for him over what’s best for the team. Like the old saying goes…There’s no “I” in team. But there is a “me”.