stick around at OU, which was his Waterloo.
But Turner, to me, he makes so much sense there was no need for the 54-year-old former Oregon quarterback who said this was "the first time I've been back in this building since I was part of the organization" to even head to the airport to ostensibly fly back to the West Coast - unless it was to retrieve wife Nancy and his best power suit.
Who knows, he might already have signed on the dotted line. Makes that much sense.
Obviously Turner would have no qualms with Garrett already having been hired. He tried to hire the former Cowboys backup quarterback three years ago in Oakland. He knows Jason that well, and knows darn well he wouldn't have been available to hire this week. And who better to intern under as a first-time offensive coordinator (although certainly Turner would run the offense) than the protégé of Ernie Zampese, who was the protégé of Don Coryell? That's some point-scoring lineage there.
Here is another factor. Why, when Miami turned down every Butch, Nick and Romeo permission to hire Garrett, who had one year left on his contract as quarterbacks coach with the Dolphins, did the Cowboys suddenly receive permission? Yeah, I know, sounds good that Garrett had a real affinity to return to his Dallas playing roots, and the Dolphins were obliging. But I'm not so sure the NFL is all that sentimental.
How about Cam Cameron, the Dolphins' newly-named head coach, doing Norv a favor? You realize, it was Turner who got Cameron started in the NFL, hiring him as his quarterbacks coach that first year he was head coach in Washington (1994)? And it was Turner whom Cameron followed after five seasons as the Indiana University head coach to San Diego (2002) as offensive coordinator.
Now then, let's move on. Does it also not make sense the Cowboys would hire an offensively-oriented head coach? We know all about the need to continue grooming the young Tony Romo. But don't forget this offense scored 425 points in 2006, two short of being second in the NFL, and really, all but one of the guys who had his fingerprints all over that offense has departed. Gone are Parcells (heaviest), Haley, Anthony Lynn, Chris Palmer (just hired by the Giants) and David Lee, leaving only Sparano and first-year tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens behind.
Plus, here is what everyone overlooks about Turner since he seems most heralded from his development of quarterbacks - from Troy Aikman, to getting Gus Frerotte to the Pro Bowl in Washington, to the Skins' Brad Johnson leading the league in passing, to grooming rookie Drew Brees at San Diego, to nursing Jay Fiedler for two seasons in Miami, to milking 3,495 passing yards out of Kerry Collins in Oakland, to nearly doubling the struggling Alex Smith's QB rating this season in San Francisco, going from 40.8 to 74.8, along with increasing his touchdown passes from one to 16.
Turner is a football-running-coordinating dude. Emmitt Smith led the NFL in rushing Turner's three years in Dallas. Terry Allen had two 1,300-yard seasons in Washington under Turner. Stephen Davis rushed for what was then a Washington single-season high 1,405 yards under Turner in 1999, and then turned in a 1,318-yard season in 2000 when Turner was fired after 13 games (7-6, the last three losses by a total of six points).
Let's see then. In his only season as offensive coordinator at San Diego, rookie LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 1,236 yards in an offense that jumped from 28th in the NFL to 11th. In 2002, his first of two seasons coordinating the Dolphins' offense, Ricky Williams rushed for 1,853 yards and then 1,372 the next year- the top two rushing performances in club history.
And this past season, San Francisco's Frank Gore, following a 608-yard rookie season, led the NFC in rushing with a club-record 1,690 yards, helping the 49ers to improve from 18 last year to sixth. That meant since arriving in Dallas in 1991, Turner's lead running backs, no matter if he was the head coach or the OC, averaged more than 1,200 yards a season.
The Cowboys sure can use some of all that.
Fine, you say, but what about the defense?
Glad you asked.
You know, the Cowboys were just about to turn this