Imagine you work in a high-profile, high-stress job where you’re in charge and you make all the decisions. Except you’re not in charge and you don’t make all the decisions. Now you know how Jason Garrett feels.
It should not surprise us that on Tuesday, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones went ahead and let the cat out of the bag regarding who will call plays on offense this season. It will be Bill Callahan, who had the title of offensive coordinator last year but didn’t call the plays.
But, despite more than 20 years of Jerry being Jerry, it sends the Cowboys universe into a tizzy.
Jones said the decision was made months ago. He told reporters on Tuesday that, because astute members of the media seemed to have figured it out, why not cop to it?
Jones treats head coaches like disposable razors. Use ’em up and throw ’em out.
“If you’ve been looking at practice you can get a pretty good idea of how it’s going there,” Jones said.
I’m not at practice, but I’ve been at NFL practices. The offensive coordinator is the one in the middle of the offense when plays are being called in 11-on-11 drills. The coach in the middle of that right now is Callahan.
So Jones said it, and Callahan confirmed it. Guess who’s in denial? Garrett.
“We have a plan in place,” Garrett told the press. “We’ve had a plan in place for a long, long time. I don’t want to get into that plan much further than I already have.”
The plan is out, man. Not that we didn’t see it coming.
Garrett is a pro. He acts that way, he talks that way and he coaches that way. But his boss sure doesn’t treat him that way.
Jones treats head coaches like disposable razors: use ’em up and throw ’em out. The shelf life is about four years. Garrett will, technically, enter year four when the Cowboys play their ninth game this season.
Garrett’s greatest crime is that he didn’t go to college with Jones. Jimmy Johnson did. He survived five years. The Super Bowls helped, but so did inheriting a horrible team in which Jones had no choice but to wait for change to come.
Parcells didn’t go to Arkansas, but three straight 5-11 seasons forced Jones to tap the two-time Super Bowl champion coach to turn the Cowboys around. Parcells lasted four years.
Jones accepts strength when he has no choice in the matter. The team’s record forces his hand. Once he has what he needs, he discards it until he needs it again.
So go back to Tuesday’s announcement. Jones obviously didn’t tell Garrett what he was going to do. I have to imagine Callahan was caught off-guard until someone told him that Jones let the news fly. Garrett had to stand there and talk to the media and try to stay on message, even though his boss just made him look like a buffoon.
Jones makes decisions with very little concern for how it’s perceived by others — especially when it comes to his head coaches, those disposable items that have the football knowledge he lacks but believes he has, and he flaunts it on a draft board sitting behind him during TV interviews.
I feel for Garrett, even though it’s his fault for taking the job in the first place. At the very least, he must have known what he was getting into when he joined the team seven years ago as its offensive coordinator. Or perhaps Wade Phillips managed to do the gentlemanly thing and insulate Garrett from the madness.
That’s probably not the case. Jones offered Garrett his dream job, any football coach’s dream job. Wearing a headset and directing America’s Team. Garrett took it. Who can blame him?
It turns out the boss is crazy. Who can’t relate to that?