Been trying to digest the **** storm that this offseason has brought upon us. I was really upset with the Rob Ryan firing, but it's been a few days and I'm learning to be hopeful of our new changes. I hope the Rams defense sucks cause I don't want to be too pissed off that we let him go.
So I think I've collected my thoughts on the topic (which seems to be changing by the minute). But typing things out is an outlet that helps me to settle my sanity, so if you're not interested, just click the back button. No worries, this might get wordy, and I might be completely wrong, but it's just my own interpretation. hey hey hey! :)
So when Jerry first called for changes with no intention of getting rid of himself (as GM) or our HC or our QB, I thought changes would come mostly in how things were run, not so much personnel changes but more cultural changes about how some things were done around Valley Ranch...ie, Jerry ending his "open door" policy between him and players. ...and if anything was made maybe finally getting a new OC, ST coach or a couple position coaches. I thought more accountability would be put on Garrett. But things unraveled pretty quickly once they announced the firing of Rob Ryan.
At first I thought the Rob firing was a Jerry move, and I was STEAMED!... but the more I thought about it the more I started to put the pieces together that this was actually a Garrett move. A Garrett move made possible by Jerry empowering him more, but nevertheless, certainly a Garrett move.
A few days ago, I posted that I thought Jerry needed to make Garrett "the man"...taking the diapers off. I thought he needed to give Garrett the same freedom and reign that Jimmy had and Parcells had. Those were the 2 best eras under Jerry and I thought we needed to go back to that in order to get back on the right track.
So it looked like "empowering" Jason was step #1 of Jerry's "changes are coming" spew. GOOD!, cause Jason Garrett needed to become the full time HC, not just in title, but in action, in ability, in decision making, in problem solving and in force. Jason being the one to call Rob on his vacation to break the news was a huge sign to me that Jerry had in fact put things in Garrett's hands. It wasn't Jerry firing Rob over the phone. It was Jason firing Rob. It's was Jason's words that were the only official release from the team regarding Rob's firing.
"I want to express my appreciation to Rob for all of his efforts and contributions to the Cowboys over the past two years. At this time, the decision has been made to move forward in a different direction philosophically on defense. I have an immense amount of respect for Rob as a person and as a football coach and I wish him and his family the very best."
-- Jason Garrett
The cries for Garrett's head to roll after the loss to Washington were loud and clear and it clearly made Jerry very uncomfortable (even in his own words). So when Jerry and Jason sat down about everything after the season, I imagine a part of it went something like, "Hey Jerry, I know I've put you in an uncomfortable spot. I hear what the media is saying, but if I'm not going to be fired now and I'm going to be given another chance, then I want all the responsibility. If I fail, I can go out knowing that I did everything I could to the best of my ability." What I'm hoping is that Jerry put a condition on that... that if Jason is to be given more, then he needs to give up the job of OC. That's to be seen, but I hope that change is coming.
So here we are the day after the news broke that the Cowboys have hired Monte Kiffin. Is it Jerry here talking about it? No. Here's the only team announcement I found (on ESPN):
Jason Garrett in a statement released through the team: "I know Monte from spending time together with him with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had a chance to see him coach up close on a day-to-day basis. His ability to teach everything--from the smallest fundamental details to the big picture of the overall defensive scheme—was always very impressive to me."
Further providing evidence that not only was the Rob firing Jason's doing, but the Monte hiring was Jason's doing. I had no idea of the connection between the two, but it's simply stated there how Jason saw him on a day-to-day basis in Tampa Bay. A lot of people who thought Jerry was looking for another "splash" signing are being mislead here. This is another Garrett move. Jerry has always been a guy who can be easily convinced if you hype him up enough.
Things I like about the Kiffin hire are:
- He and Garrett have a working relationship together from the 2004 season when Jason was with the Bucs.
- Carroll (Kiffin guy) is having success with his hybrid 4-3 defense (with 3-4 personnel).
- Kiffin is a guru of his defense. Following the trend of Parcells (guru of the 3-4, 2 gap) and Wade Phillips (guru of the 3-4, 1 gap) when our defense has been at it's best... this must have been a selling point to Jerry.
- Kiffin should be able to bring in some great position coaches seeing how long he has been around the game and the guys who he has worked with (Lovie Smith, Pete Carroll, Rod Marinelli, Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards, Mike Tomlin, Raheem Morris and many more..)
- Kiffin is a guy who only wants to be DC. Not some hot shot looking to boost his resume. This could even be his last job in football.
- Kiffin is looking to rebuild his reputation after recent years of failure.
So I'm laying off the hate on Jerry this offseason if this trend continues. To me this looks like Garrett is taking the reigns and putting his full stamp on the team. With it, will come the highest expectations and little room for failure. But I think this is the way things have to happen for the Cowboys to be in the right direction. Less Jerry decision making and more HC decision making.