Perfect Timing

Rob Ryan and the other new coaches were introduced to the Dallas media this week.

going to like his style and the defensive linemen are going to want to play for him. Now why is a guy with such a great coaching reputation available?

Well, first the Panthers fire head coach John Fox the night the season finished. Baker said he cleaned out his office on Monday, met University of North Carolina coach Butch Davis, the former Cowboys assistant, on Tuesday and accepted an assistant coaching job with the Tar Heels on Wednesday. So how, pray tell, does he wind up at the Ranch a month later?

Baker isn't even sure. Says he never asked what provoked Garrett to give him a call. Says he knew Rex Ryan, but not Rob, and really had no association with Garrett. Me suspects his former boss, Fox, who was with the Giants during two of Garrett's four years there, put in the good word. But for Butch to just let a new hire go?

"And really, if it were not for the Cowboys I probably would not even have considered going back to the NFL," said Baker, who made no bones about wanting to become a college head coach some day and said Davis was nice enough to ask what he thought would be his best career move. "Really there are two ways to get yourself promoted in this profession, that is to be associated with a winner, and I think the Cowboys are ready to do that … and if you win on (the Cowboys') stage, that's like winning twice."

Then there is Eberflus, who really made a name for himself as the defensive coordinator at the University of Missouri, and as Rob Ryan said, was brought to Cleveland when he was searching for the best college assistant coach to hire. So Eberflus spends two years with the Browns and, yes, he's part of the dead-man-walking staff in Cleveland after Mangini is fired. Plus, the Cowboys had already let their linebackers coach Reggie Herring head off to Houston to join former head coach Wade Phillips when they didn't have to.

Ryan brings in Eberflus, along with defensive assistant Ben Bloom - he claims his "right-hand man." Then Garrett, because of his availability and history with the Cowboys but also very likely Jones' ability to offer a real sweet deal, convinces Woicik to return to The Ranch after he won his fourth, fifth and sixth Super Bowl rings with New England.

Lastly, there is Robinson, a real head-scratcher. I mean, this guy wins a Super Bowl with the Packers right here in North Texas one week, and the next he's accepting the assistant head coach/wide receivers job with the Cowboys. Another go figure, that is until you hear the rest of the story.

Robinson and Garrett were together four years with the Giants. The long-time assistant tells the story of walking down the coaching hallways in the Giants offices, sometimes seven or eight at night, and he would always see Garrett, only the backup quarterback, still in there, looking at film, preparing for the upcoming game.

"We got to know each other pretty well," said Robinson, who's been coaching for 27 years, "and we talked about maybe down the line we could get together someday (coaching). We stayed in touch … maintained a relationship."

OK, fine and good. But what about the contract he still was under in Green Bay? And obviously he was liked up there, especially if you paid attention to what those Packers receivers did in the Super Bowl even with Donald Driver watching the second half. In fact, this is how Robinson is described in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story documenting his departure: "He is considered meticulous and a perfectionist and does not bend an inch on demanding his receivers follow the design of the offense."

That's what I'm talking about.

Anyway, that the Cowboys included the assistant head coach tag and likely issued him a significant pay raise was enough to convince Packers head coach Mike McCarthy to allow his trusty assistant the past five seasons in Green Bay to leave when he technically could have blocked the request since Robinson was not being courted as a head coach. Honor among these coaches, you see.

Now how lucky, er, serendipitous is that? (Jimmy hated the word lucky, and taught us all a new one in those five years.) Maybe even the euphoria of the Lombardi Trophy back home in Titletown contributed to his benevolence.

But you see, a whole lot had to fall in place for Garrett to put this staff together. I mean, what if Fox

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising