One of the hottest topics on ESPN the past few weeks has been the expected firing of Dallas Cowboys head football coach Jason Garrett. Now in his tenth year at the helm of “America’s Team”, he has failed to win a Super Bowl. Perhaps even worse he’s never led the team to qualify to play in the ultimate game. As the team’s current losing streak continues, the discussion becomes even hotter. It’s as certain as a Nostradamus prophecy that Garrett will be fired. Steven A. Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN’s popular show First Take talk as if it’s not a matter of “if he will be fired”, but “when he will be fired.” The discussion has moved on to who Garret’s replacement will be. Even former Cowboy Troy Aikman has criticized his friend Jason Garrett in recent weeks. As a commentator for Fox Sports, he referred to the fact the Cowboys defense doesn’t make any changes to confuse opposing quarterbacks.
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He said, “It must be nice for inexperienced quarterbacks to not have to adjust to changes in the Dallas defense.” In another loss, Aikman seccond guessed Garrett’s decision to go for a touchdown instead of kicking a certain field goal. When Aikman talks, Jones listens. Aikman, who won the last three Super Bowls for the Cowboys in the early 1990s, has been selected to the NFL Hall of Fame. His opinion is respected. Popular ESPN host Will Cain has also criticized Garrett. In one particular show he said, “The Cowboys need a head coach who does more than just hold up one or two fingers after a touchdown.” He was referring to the fact a head coach in the NFL always instructs his team to go for either one or two extra points after they score a touchdown. The gist of Cain’s remark seem to be that Garrret doesn’t do enough. On another occasion, Garrett was referrred to as the “ginger clapper.” He is often seen clapping his hands after good and bad plays alike.
Why Is Garrett Still Coach After Decade? One question is why is Garrett still around after a decade? Even Jerry Jones commented this week that no other head coach has ever stayed with the same team for ten years without winning a Super Bowl. Others have speculated Jones simply likes the coach and enjoys having him as a friend. Others have said Jones doesn’t feel threatened by Garrrett who doesn’t steal the spotlight from his boss. While Jones has made it clear he is looking at other coaches if Garrett doesn’t win a Super Bowl this year, he hasn’t yet specified an heir apparent. He did praise two college coaches after the recent Big 12 championship game in his stadium. However, Jones went on to say that just because they are great college coaches doesn’t mean they’ll have thee same success in the NFL. Matt Rhule and Lincoln Riley Top Candidates?
The fact Jones dropped the names of Baylor coach Matt Rhule and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley seemed to indicate the two college mentors are definitely on Jones radar. Rhule turned the Baylor program around from a 1-11 record two years ago to 11-2 this year and a berth in the Sugar Bowl. Should Baylor fans be nervous? Jones plucked former Miami coach Jimmy Johnson from the collegiate ranks. It was Johnson who was the architect of the Cowboy teams who won two Super Bowls in the early 1990s. Jones and Johnson parted ways after the second Super Bowl win. So Jones does have a history of recruiting coaches from the collegiate ranks. Should Baylor Fans Be Worried? Should Baylor fans fear losing the Big 12 Coach of the Year? Matt Rhule has repeatedly said he has “unfinished business at Baylor.” He also said he believes Baylor might be a championship team next year. They barely lost to OU in the Big12 championship game in overtime recently.
From New York, Rhule surprised many people when he took the Baylor job in the first place. Fresh off a rebuilding job at Temple, many thought he would take the Oregon job. He also has experience as an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants. Reports are he is well-respected among NFL insiders. Looking forward to more years of possible winning football, Baylor fans would be heartbroken if Rhule left for the NFL. Rhule, who was a member of a Nazarene church before moving to Waco, seems at home in a Christian university. Whether or not that will keep him in Waco when teams come callling with big money offers remains to be seen. So far, Rhule’s comments he and his family are content where they are now. His wife seems to have a major influence over him, so her input shouldn’t be overlooked. It was she who recommended he take a detour on their trip a few yeaers ago to apply for an assistant’s job at Temple in Philadelphia. He took her advice and dropped in on the Temple head coach unannounced. The ccoach was at first staartled, but so impressed, he hired Rhule.