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Eatman: Authority For HC Should Not Be New Concept

Posted Jan 30, 2014


One of the biggest perceptions about the Dallas Cowboys organization and how Jerry Jones runs his team is that he makes every decision and doesn’t allow anyone else to voice their opinions.

That is obviously not the case and the guys that have worked closest to him will often say it’s a completely inaccurate statement. At times, Jerry has been criticized inside the building for listening to too many people to form an opinion.

This past summer I talked to Bill Parcells for a while about his upcoming Hall of Fame status and the legendary coach shared nothing but fond memories about his relationship with both Jerry and Stephen Jones and said they are “great listeners.” He said if you make a strong case about your opinion Jerry will definitely listen and often cater to those thoughts.

Apparently, Jason Garrett has made a strong case, especially in terms of getting the play-caller he wants in here.

The Cowboys’ brass, currently up in the New York for the Super Bowl, made a few comments regarding Garrett’s authority to make decisions on the staff. Stephen Jones said this week Garrett “absolutely” has authority to put the coaches in place after the season ended.

Stephen Jones told reporter Chris Mortensen “it’s not always going to be pretty – it’s going to hurt some feelings, but you have to let Jason evaluate his staff and do what he believes is right. That’s what he did.”

The hurt feelings, in this case, probably went to Bill Callahan, who has seen his play-calling duties stripped in favor of Linehan.

"Bill is not thrilled, but Jason didn't expect him to be thrilled," Stephen Jones told Mortensen. "But Bill is an outstanding coach; he will be involved in game planning and overseeing our offensive line. There was no way we were going to let him walk and we kept our promise that nobody was getting fired; in fact, we added another pretty well-paid coach in Linehan. Maybe that's something that happened we didn't originally plan -- we spent a little more money adding someone, but Jason is very pleased and so are we with Scott on board."

But at the end to the day, the Cowboys should give Garrett the authority to have his coaching staff.

To me, that’s what hierarchy is. Jerry makes the ultimate decisions but he has people underneath him, who have people under them and so on.

Of course, Jason Garrett should get the final say on his staff. Especially if this upcoming season is indeed a make-or-break year for him. He better get the guys in place that he wants and trusts.

That’s what all NFL coaches should get. I don’t know if that’s always the case here in Dallas – I don’t think it is. I’m sure Jerry Jones has had a major say in getting the coordinators in place from time to time, including last year with Monte Kiffin.

It sounds like getting Rod Marinelli to be the DC and Linehan to call the plays are moves Garrett wants.

Now, it still comes with exceptions. The fact Kiffin and Callahan were demoted but retained is a practice that seems odd, but something Jerry probably did as a compromise. Those are things you can do without a coaching salary cap.

Again, without Jerry Jones coming out and having a big press conference to answer all of the questions that come with these uncertainties, there will be plenty of speculation to go around.

If Jason Garrett indeed get to have full authority of the coaching staff, that would be a good thing. But of course, the argument should be made that, “it’s about time.”

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