Sunday, January 02, 2011

DMN - Post Game Call

SportsDayDFW phoned The Ticket's Bob Sturm to comment on the Cowboys' win over the Eagles. The following is a transcription of highlights of the interview:

Does a 5-3 finish earn Jason Garrett the job?

It certainly earned him a job, with a possibility of 10 openings in the league. Is he the man for this job? I believe all signs point to yes.

I think for a number of reasons he will be Jerry's choice. I will admit there are some levels of hesitation about being the best move for the franchise. I would not lay those moments of hesitation at Garrett's feet but at Jerry's feet.

Why wouldn't it be the right move for the organization?

I don't think it's necessarily the wrong move. But I would like Jason, assuming he hasn't already accepted the job, to perhaps interview for a few of the other jobs if only to improve his leverage on issues that are vital to his success in Dallas.

When Jerry handpicks a coach within the organization, that guy has zero say on his coaching staff. I don't think that's healthy. I think Garrett should hire and fire his staff as he sees fit. Those assistants work for him to get his message out there. If they are hired by Jerry they serve a different master. We saw that during the Chan Gailey and Dave Campo eras. The assistants didn't always seem committed to the their head coach.

For that reason, I might slowplay my hand if I am Jason Garrett -- to get the details to his liking. Coaching staff is one. Say in personnel is another. Disciplinary matters, Garrett needs to have the final say. That's important to me and I hope that's important to Garrett.

Jerry Jones wants to hit the ground running next season and win immediately. Is keeping Garrett the best way to do that?

I would say from a continuity standpoint absolutely. I am not sure continuity should be important in this situation given the number of issues that need to be addressed. Bill Parcells took over a team that had 15 wins in three seasons and quickly put them in the playoffs. When you need drastic changes, a real jolt to the system might be the better plan. From a comfort level for Jerry and the players, I understand Garrett may be better than some unknown commodity. But from a Cowboys standpoint I don't know that I should be worried that smooth transitions are the No. 1 priority.

Not to say that I don't think Garrett should get the job. I think Garrett is extremely capable and has shown these guys play hard for him, much harder than they fought for Wade Phillips it appears.

He's a man with options right now, all over the league, for his work as a coordinator and these last eight games. I have to believe quite a few teams would want to visit him. I wouldn't want to lose him necessarily.

Why wouldn't you want to interview a big-name that becomes available like a Jeff Fisher?

The argument against waiting is completely based on the real possibility that you would lose Garrett. If you don't mind that then there is no problem in waiting. Garrett is a complete free agent. I can understand the rush to pull the trigger if Garrett is your man. If you have some doubts, and that's a reasonable possibility with Jerry, then you go interview others. But if you wait a week, you give other teams an opportunity to make him an offer he can't refuse.

If you are Jason Garrett, do you accept the Cowboys job?

If I'm Jason Garrett, I accept the Cowboys coaching job under the proper terms. I don't accept the same terms Campo got. This is not about money. It's about having a say in coaching staff, training camp, player's playing time and spot on the squad -- having some autonomy. He may not be able to be in full charge of the GM position, but he needs to have full authority in his locker room. When a veteran needs to be benched or a kicker needs to be released, if I'm Garrett, I need to have the say in these matters. I believe that has been a recipe for disaster in the past. Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells did not stand for that. Why? Because they had leverage going in. Garrett has leverage on some level.

Should Cowboys fans be unhappy with a victory over the Eagles because it lowers their draft pick?

That's a very complex discussion. I would say, as a fan, I would understand the frustration of dropping 4-8 spots in the draft when they win. At the same time, there is no way as an organization, you can ask your players to lay down. It should give you some sort of pride that the veterans made the key plays today. While you can't forget the way Wade was feed by many players quitting, this at least gives you hope that some of these leaders are still qualified to occupy these spots moving forward.

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