Stick To The Present

Jason Garrett said trying to win games outweighs the importance of evaluating younger players.

  1.   * Jerry wants him to be the head coach. Jerry handpicked him in 2007 to be the offensive coordinator, but if you remember, he was interviewed for the head coaching vacancy before Wade Phillips got it. We all know it's been in the cards for Garrett to take over one day.   * Hiring Garrett is easier than anyone else. He knows this team. He knows this franchise and he knows this owner. And with the lingering CBA issues, it's better to have something in place in case there is no activity in the offseason and teams are rushed to throw together a game plan for a season at the last minute.   * Jerry knows what happened in New Orleans. He knows how well Sean Payton has done. He knows what Tony Sparano has done in Miami. Sort of going back to that No.1 reason, do you think Jerry is going to let the guy that he personally picked go to another team? And I know this, if Garrett isn't the head coach of the Cowboys in 2011, he'll be the head coach of someone in 2011.   * And probably the most appropriate reason of all, Garrett deserves the job next year. I can honestly say, and I said it back in November, that Garrett really didn't deserve the interim job that was given to him. His offense had underperformed, too. But as the

assistant head coach and knowing the Cowboys HAD to make a change, it was Garrett's time to step up. A blind man can see that Garrett has made a difference. Phillips had lost the team and Garrett has found them. They're responding. Sure, this team is 3-2 under Garrett, but they've played five pretty good games. That's about four more than they did under Phillips this year. In the small sample size we have seen so far, I think Garrett has more than earned it.    

  OK, so there are four reasons why I think Garrett will be the coach. And maybe, Jerry and Jason have talked behind closed doors. Maybe he already knows the job is his for 2011 and beyond.  

Obviously we won't know that and we have to act as if there will indeed be a coaching search at the end of the season. That's what Jerry has told us. That's what he must do to adhere to the NFL's Rooney Rule. And that's likely what will happen. 

That being the case, then Garrett is still an interim coach. He's a glorified temp right now. He needs to do everything he can to win - right now. And if that means playing Gerald Sensabaugh over Barry Church, then that's what it means. If it means playing Jon Kitna over Stephen McGee, then that's what you do.  

And if it means playing a healthy - stress the word healthy - Tony Romo over Jon Kitna in the last game or two, then you do that as well. 

So you go into next year not really knowing what you've got in Sam Young? That's the risk you have to take.  

If you're Garrett, and the job isn't yours yet, why would you want to do Jon Gruden's work for him? Or maybe it's Bill Cowher or Brian Billick or someone else. Like I just said, I really don't think it's anyone other than Garrett.  

But again, until that day happens, Garrett's mindset has to remain the same. And there's no reason to coach for a future, when you don't know for sure that you'll be included.      

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