JJT discusses the emotion of Jerry …
While the atmosphere was relaxed Thursday at Phillips' news conference, Jones understood the importance of the moment.
Twice, emotions overwhelmed him. His voice quivered and he needed time to compose himself. Whether you think he's a genius or a fool, understand the Cowboys are his life.
So when the criticism comes as it should after 10 years without a playoff victory, especially from fans, it hurts. The Cowboys are more than just another successful business venture.
"We needed to get this right," Jerry said. "In my mind, we got it right.
"... That's not fake stuff – emotion. If you want to call that pressure, I wouldn't.
I'd call it passion. I just feel a real obligation beyond the ownership thing. I feel an obligation to do every little thing we can to have a winning team."
A faction of Cowboys fans, who think Jerry is the NFL's worst owner, would disagree. Some even think he's the worst in pro sports. Obviously those folks have never rooted for a team owned by Al Davis (Raiders), Bill Bidwill (Cardinals) or Donald Sterling (Clippers), though they can point to the longest stretch in Cowboys' history without a playoff win as evidence of Jerry's incompetence.
Three Super Bowl wins have rightfully given Jerry a pass for a long time. Perhaps, longer than it should have.
Time is up.
Cowlishaw on Garrett and the Cowboys offense …
While seeking an experienced defensive hand to oversee the operation, Mr. Jones left Mr. Romo and the offense under the youthful eye of Jason Garrett.
The former Cowboys backup quarterback has not officially been named offensive coordinator. But he was hired a week ago, and he didn't come here to make a lateral move from the Miami Dolphins, where he was quarterbacks coach, so that's a formality.
We know that the Cowboys' defense stunk in December, which above all else sealed the fate of the team (and Bill Parcells).
We also know that Mr. Romo and the offense were pretty good for most of their run and that there are four members of the unit at the Pro Bowl. And that's without Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, Julius Jones – their 1,000-yard producers – and NFC touchdown leader Marion Barber.
Bottom line: The offense clicked in 2006 and those most responsible from the
coaching end are gone.
That's with the noted exception of Tony Sparano, who called the plays a year ago and now likely must be satisfied with the reduced rule of offensive line coach.
Has Mr. Garrett got what it takes to pull all this together?
We know he has the education. Princeton doesn't turn out a lot of dummies.
We know that as an undersized career backup, he spent a lot of time learning the game under a variety of wise coordinators – Mr. Turner, Ernie Zampese, Sean Payton among them.
As a coach, Mr. Garrett spent two years with Miami's highly uninspired offense under Nick Saban. Are we going to give him credit for helping to make quarterback Joey Harrington somewhat tolerable to watch?
Now he will be in charge of the whole thing.
He hasn't called a play or designed his own playbook, but that's not to say these are daunting tasks. It's just something Mr. Garrett hasn't done, so we don't know what the Cowboys are getting.
In addition to rebounding from something of a late-season slump – one traced in large part to the downfall of the offensive line – Mr. Romo must acquaint himself with a new system.
Note: That's something Peyton Manning hasn't had to do in Indianapolis. Nine years, with one coaching voice – offensive coordinator Tom Moore. That has something to do with why the Colts' offense operates on a different level of intelligence than the rest of the league.
Very predictable this day to read the default ESPN.com ripping of this hire. Gene Wojciechowski with the column …
After weeks of breathless updates, when the only candidates Jerry Jones didn't interview were Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, a decision finally has been made. And the winner of this vast, global, all-encompassing coaching search is … Wade Phillips?
You're kidding, right? Half of the world schleps to Valley Ranch to meet with Jones about the Dallas Cowboys' job opening and the best he can do is hire a twice-fired head coaching retread who has a playoff O-fer? This is the bold, "How-'bout-them-Cowboys!" move?
I don't get it. But I didn't get why Jones thought team-killer Terrell Owens was worth the inevitable T.O. knucklehead moments when he signed him a season ago. Or why Jones would hire supposed up-and-comer Jason Garrett to the coaching staff before he hired the actual head coach.
It would be one thing if Phillips' head coaching record separated him from the other candidates. But it doesn't. Instead of ooohs and aaahs, Phillips' 48-42 mark (including those three first-round playoff defeats) produces yawns and so-whats.
I know Phillips is an accomplished defensive coordinator. No one questions his credentials when it comes to coaching defense. But I'm not seeing anything on his résumé that screams, "Give him a third chance at being a head coach. He'll get it right this time."
Now you know why the Fritz Pollard Alliance and the Black Coaches Association often feel as if they're hitting their heads against non-padded goal posts. Here we are, only days removed from celebrating Tony Dungy's Super Bowl victory -- the first African-American coach to do so (to say nothing of two black head coaches in XLI) -- and then Jones hires Phillips.
Yes, Jones interviewed minority coaches. He interviewed Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, San Francisco 49ers assistant head coach Mike Singletary and Cowboys assistant Todd Bowles. I'm surprised he didn't bring in Oprah or Jay-Z for a chat about the merits of a 3-4 versus the 4-3 defense.
So, according to Gene, the Cowboys were supposed to hire a black guy because of Dungy over Lovie? That doesn’t sound like very sound thinking. Should all teams mimic everything they saw Sunday? Change team colors? Find a white QB? That is a silly deduction in a silly column.
Pro Football Talk talks to a pretty big critic of the Wade hiring…
Keeping with widespread scuttlebutt that owner Jerry Jones was looking primarily for a guy who would do his bidding, a league source told us: " Jones finally got his wish. He gets to coach the team. I know there are many people in the league who can't stop laughing.
"Dallas has relegated itself to the bottom of the NFC East for years to come," the source added. "They might even start competing with Detroit. Wade does not have a strong personality and he will be eaten up by Jones. Dave Campo will look like an all-time great before this is over."
Ouch. But given that Phillips and the other finalist for the job, 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner, have both been fired twice from NFL head-coaching gigs, many believe that Jones intentionally aimed low so that he would be able to impose his will on the coach.
Meanwhile, since Brett has returned last week, all has been quiet in Packerland. Except this detail I thought you might like: Randy Moss is being discussed to join Favre …and it is Brett’s idea (reportedly)…
Why is it that one of the most dynamic talents of his generation can be had for the rumored low, low price of a third-round pick and another receiver? Is he healthy? Anything wrong with, say, his hips or legs? The Packers would need to know.
The Packers would also need to know how a guy, no matter the degree of his eccentric tendencies, could possibly wear out his welcome in Oakland. Oakland! Wouldn't that be like the guitarist who was kicked out of Megadeth? I mean, how heinous do you have to be to be fired from a band called Megadeth? Same with the Black Hole, the NFL's last stop for the severely disenfranchised.
Now, we all know that Randy Moss can be a royal pain in the place he pantomimed to a horrified crowd during the Minnesota Vikings' infamous Moon over Lambeau playoff victory a couple of years ago. You do not reference Moss' notorious behavior with a trite "baggage" label, mostly because it would be insufficient. We're talking steamer trunks at minimum, on up to mini-warehouse spaces, the really big ones.
It is also possible that Moss, who turns 30 next week, has learned some form of self control during his time of exile out there on the dark side of the moon. With no one to get him the ball in Oakland, he may be genuinely grateful for the chance to escape the league's worst offense, where his biggest crime was that he could not be another Tim Brown. It is also possible that he may be healthy enough to still go up and get the football like no one else of the last decade or so.
If all that is true and the Packers can get Moss for the equivalent of a gallon of paint at a scratch-and-dent sale, it's time to grab the brushes and get to work.
Brett Favre really, really wants to throw to Moss and has actively campaigned Ted Thompson to make the deal. There is genuine respect between Favre and Moss that transcends superstar bonding. Maybe it's a backwater-rebel connection between the chucker from Mississippi and the picker from West Virginia. There just might be a huge spark of workable chemistry there, enough to convince Moss to subjugate his individualistic whims to a team that might have a chance with his controlled presence.
More than that, the Packers need playmakers to get back into the game. As terrific as Donald Driver was last season, imagine how good he could be if opponents weren't constantly double-teaming him. Imagine if a defense also had to account for Randy Moss with Brett Favre delivering the football. Moss is a special talent, the likes of which are almost never available at any price to a team with such a specific need.
I honestly don’t know what to think about that story.
In the last few days I offered questions to the readers, and you guys did not disappoint. Here are the answers to a few questions. I asked how long has it been since the Mavericks held a 7 game lead on the Spurs. I actually thought I has been a real long time (if ever):
Bob, I saw on your blog on Wednesday that you wanted to know the last time the Mavs had a 7+ game lead on the Spurs. Looks like it was February 3, 2003, Dallas was 38-9 while San Antonio was 31-16. Exactly a 7.0 game lead. The Mavs and Spurs then ended up tied 60-22 that season and hopefully that doesn’t happen this year.
Also, Galloway threw out some line in his bitter column of a few days back about mufflers. Among others, Blaise offered the answer:
Can anyone explain the line about “loud mufflers roaring in their ears”? Also, thanks for assuring us that you won’t lose his cellphone number. That will teach us.
I believe that is a shot at Cowlishaw because Tim is doing work on ESPN covering NASCAR.
Long time reader and listener, Phillip, sent me this:
I am sure you have heard, but just in case you didn't Lewisville now has a professional baseball team, the Lewisville Lizards. I was at the 10:00 a.m. press conference this morning and also was able to meet former major leaguer Jay Johnstone. Jay will be the team relations director...neat guy with some great stores. Might be worth getting on the show and talking to him. Let me know if you want me to head that up for you. The team is part of the first-year Continental Baseball League (CBL), an independent league that will begin its 12-week, 60-game schedule on May 25. The team will play home games at Lewisville High School.
Other CBL cities selected are Keller, Texas, a Dallas-based “travel team” and a fourth city that will be announced later in February. CBL games will be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and there will be doubleheaders on Sundays. Mondays will be open dates. Tuesdays will be reserved for special seminars and clinics that will allow teams to reach out to members of their respective communities. Wednesdays will be a travel days.
The team also has Bob Ibach on board, who once was the Chicago Cubs director of public relations/publications and promised us today that the Lewisville Lizards will win a pennant before the Cubs will win the world series.
Let me know if you want my help with booking Jay for the show.....also, would like to see you at a game one evening....tickets will be $5-$7 dollars......at least we've got that going for us!
I am not sure that you are all interested in that, but perhaps you thought the same thing I did when I read the name Jay Johnstone:
Now that is a card.
A follow up on Vomit-talk:
You may have seen this already – but the Southlake Carroll QB (Riley Dodge – the coaches son) threw up right before he took the snap – then completed the winning touch down in the state championship game. Not good for radio – but pretty impressive..
The clip is 1:03 long – watch the replay at 0:48 for the best view.
Bum Phillips – Luv Ya Blue
Finally, how Its Tricky is supposed to look: