Report: If not “overwhelmed” by other candidates, Cowboys may have kept Jason Garrett

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Sometimes, a spitball lands in reasonable proximity to the bull’s eye.

On Tuesday, we suggested that the screwball timeline of the Dallas Cowboys’ hiring and firing practices could have been the result of a fairly simple strategy: “Maybe the explanation is hiding in plain sight. Maybe Garrett, who reportedly wanted desperately to remain the Cowboys coach, persuaded Jones to see if he could find a better option before officially parting ways with Garrett. Maybe Jones agreed to give it a try.”

A story from Todd Archer of ESPN.com regarding the events that culminated in the seven-day delay firing of Garrett and immediate hiring of Mike McCarthy contains this nugget from an unnamed “high-ranking” team source: “[H]ad the Cowboys not been overwhelmed by McCarthy or any other candidates, there was a chance Garrett could have returned as coach.”

This sort of conflicts from the January 2 ESPN report that the Cowboys had decided to move on from Garrett; if it’s true that there was a chance Garrett could stay if the Cowboys weren’t blown away by other candidates, they didn’t decide to move on from Garrett until they decided to move in with McCarthy.

Archer’s story also conflicts (without saying so) with Adam Schefter’s report that McCarthy and Jerry Jones hit it off so well that McCarthy stayed at Jones’ house on Saturday night, conjuring images of a Johnny Walker Blue sleepover followed by pancakes and eggs in the morning. Archer writes this, without mentioning the necessarily refuted Schefterism: “McCarthy spent the night at Frisco’s Omni Hotel, which is connected to Ford Center at The Star; not at Jerry Jones’ Highland Park home.”

There’s one final bit of news from Archer that we’ll weave together with a little something of which we caught wind on Tuesday. Per Archer, Jerry and Stephen Jones became convinced that McCarthy was the guy on Sunday, January 5, which caused them to set in motion the firing of Garrett and the hiring of McCarthy.

Given that the firing of Garrett came just before halftime of the Seahawks-Eagles wild-card playoff game — and, thus, after the conclusion of Vikings-Saints — it’s possible that the final domino for the Joneses fell when Minnesota extended its season by at least six days. A source with knowledge of the dynamics told PFT on Tuesday that Jerry Jones had planned to pursue Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, as some had speculated.

With the Vikings winning and McCarthy drawing interest elsewhere, the Cowboys apparently decided not to risk losing McCarthy by waiting for a chance to choose between a pair of Mikes from the NFC North.

57 responses to “Report: If not “overwhelmed” by other candidates, Cowboys may have kept Jason Garrett

  1. This is a lot of dot connecting and forensic analysis for a team that’ll continue to go 7-9 for the next decade…

  2. Dang it, compared to Jason Garrett, I could have overwhelmed the Cowboys!!!

    I just need to improve my clapping skills (faster, longer, more intense looking).

  3. I think it breaks down this way:

    Jerruh wanted Garrett to stay; Stephen wanted to move on.
    Jerruh managed to slow-walk the process until Stephen finally prevailed after the Vikings win by convincing Jerruh that it was time to fish or cut bait.

    The announcement during halftime of the Iggles game was pure Jerruh.

  4. This whole explanation only underscores the extreme dysfunction that will keep the Cowboys from getting any better as long as Jerry is at the helm. SMH

  5. It is not unusual for people hiring people to have a #1 and a #2. Not unusual at all. In fact that is considered to be smart (not that anyone is going to use that word with JJ). Garrett was just #2. Agree with other posters though that this is a team that is still likely to underwhelm.

  6. So they rushed a hire that appeared to be a slow play.

    When you hire in fear of losing someone, that ‘someone’ is rarely the right person. Like picking the wrong girl because she’s ‘available’ and you know someone else will ask her. Just wait for the right one. They are out there, also in plain sight. It tends to work out better.

  7. Jason,you have to face facts,as sad as they are…Jerry dumped you for a fling. You have to move on. Do you really want the job that you had to beg to try and hold on to?

  8. You can’t compare the two coaches because McCarthy has the ring, and all Garrett has is a record of losing with some of the best talent in the NFC over the last decade. T.O in his prime.. best offensive line in football for years… top 3 running back for years..top 3 tight end for years.. and Garrett delivered nothing. Moving on from Garrett should have happened years ago. Cowboys fans should be excited that they have a proven coach who’s climbed the mountain and tasted victory, but instead they’re still complaining it’s classic nonsense which is why that franchise will remain America’s dysfunctional franchise award winner yet again

  9. ricko1112 says:
    January 8, 2020 at 8:00 am
    If the Cowboys weren’t overwhelmed by Jerry Jones’ interference, they might have been relevant during the last 25 years…

    Can’t argue that point, lol.

  10. Breaking up is hard to do. It took the Bangles owner a lot longer to get rid of Marvin Lewis. It took a long time for the LAmbs owner to get rid of Jeff Fisher also. The Browns also took a long time to get rid of Hue Jackson. In contrast, Jed York knows a bad coach when he sees one, and he got rid of 2 bad head coaches after 2 lousy seasons.

  11. Unpopular opinion but honestly, it absolutely make sense.

    If you fire Garrett and you don’t think the next guy is an improvement over Garrett, then you really fired him for the mere sake of making a change. That’s how you end up hiring the Freddie Kitchens of the world.

    Of course, if they had to keep Garrett, it’s not like Jones would have come out and said “honestly, there was no one better”

  12. Jerry Jones is one of the greatest chefs every to cook up an NFL team. NOBODY CAN WAFFLE LIKE JERRY!

  13. They’re already weak at WR now that Cooper is going to hit free agency. Why wouldn’t he at this point? Let Dak go out and see what he can get, it is less than he and his agent think.

  14. Of course Garrett desperately wanted to remain head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. At $30 million for five years, why wouldn’t he? No other team would ever think of paying him that kind of money.

    I doubt Dallas would again either. Talk about money down the drain.

    No word yet on McCarthy’s contract, but it’s probably somewhere in that range. It certainly isn’t anywhere near the whopping $62 million Carolina agreed to pay Rhule.

    New York really wanted to sign Rhule, but they were not about to match that offer. Instead, the Giants hired Judge for an undisclosed amount, which was a bold move. Note that neither bothered to interview Garrett.

    I seriously doubt Dallas was waiting for Zimmer, before firing Garrett and hiring McCarthy. No way is Zimmer leaving Minnesota any time soon, not with what he’s got going on with the Vikings. Besides, he’s worked for Jerry Jones before and knows how he is.

    The most likely explanation for the delay is that McCarthy really impressed Jones in his interview, and it took a couple of days to work out the details of the contract. Once agreed to, Garrett was fired and McCarthy was hired the next day.

    The only team left with a coaching vacancy is Cleveland, but the Browns aren’t calling.

    Maybe some truly desperate team will hire Garrett as a coordinator or assistant, but probably not. Perhaps he can find a position at some college somewhere. I mean, Baylor has an opening.

  15. The comments on here are pure insanity…

    There isn’t a single head coach in the NFL whose name isn’t Bill Belichick that has more than 1 Superbowl ring. And that list is short: Gruden, McCarthy, Payton, Harbaugh, Carroll, Tomlin, Kubiak, and Peterson.

    Of that list, Mike McCarthy has a higher post-season win % than everyone except Harbaugh. Him and Harbaugh are also tied with the same amount of playoff wins at 10. McCarthy also has the highest playoff appearance percentage, tied with Harbaugh, at 70%. Jason Garrett’s playoff appearance percentage is 33% (that’s with Romo and an up and coming Dak and Zeke). McCarthy is tied for first with division titles (as a percentage of seasons coached) with Tomlin and Payton. His 62% win percentage is also top notch.

    Look at the facts people. Every single Superbowl winning head coach has fatal flaws, whether you want to believe it or not. You are comparing him to old dogs like Reid who haven’t won anything, young upstarts like McVay that are proving to be a flash in the pan, or the greatest coach of the modern era, Belichick.

    Cowboys make a high quality choice. They’re also getting a man that’s hell-bent on proving the league that he wasn’t the problem in Green Bay. Boys’ probably go 12-4 and win the division next year.

  16. It’s why you have to go through the process and not pencil whip the selection unlike what many in the media and fans want done.

  17. This was never as mysterious as the pile of articles here made it out to be.

    The Cowboys had a coach under contract for a short time after their season ended. That is the time to make use of all your options by looking around while also gauging the potential to keep the same guy.

    Really – look at the crop of potential hires. Not a single sure thing and a lot of likely misses. There just don’t seem to be many good coaches around. Say what you will about Garrett’s record, but he’d still be better than a lot of what’s out there.

    They didn’t fire Garrett. His contract is expiring and not being renewed.

  18. Hiring a coach because you’re afraid you will lose them? Some years ago I remember the Vikings making the first hire of the offseason because they didn’t want to lose out on Childress. McCarthy was hired later that offseason. I agree with the previous poster that hiring a person because you believe that person is in demand is a mistake.

  19. McCarthy to Dallas. Proven coach.

    Rivera to Washington. Proven coach.

    Pederson with the healed & healthy Eagles. Proven coach.

    Judge (new coach) to pair with the young QB in NY. Not proven good OR bad.

    I suspect the NFCE is going to make some noise in the near future.

  20. Jerry’s choices:
    #1: Mike McCarthy
    #2: Jason Garrett
    #3: Marvin Lewis (Rooney Rule)

    Basically Jerry either wanted MM or else keep Jason for possibly a prove it year? Either way, whatever anyone else says, I don’t believe Jerry did anything wrong to Garrett. I’m sure they had an understanding of what process Jerry’s going to follow. You can tell Jerry really liked Garrett but ultimately playoffs and SBs determines success. MM must have promised to make Dak look like Favre and Rodgers.

  21. That Zimmer to Dallas crap was all generated from leaks and speculation from Texas. The Vikings organization doesn’t leak and there was no chance Zimmer was leaving, as noted by the owner’s statement last week. It’s the same mumbo jumbo that went on with Payton and the Saints a year ago.

  22. None of this is going to matter unless Jerry steps back but we all know that won’t happen. All the best to McCarthy.

  23. Jerry seemed to be speculating that the Vikings will beat SF, and it would have been a long process waiting for Zimmer.

  24. Overwhelmed by desperate coaching candidates is more like it. Someone here mentioned Garrett’s “dignity” ? He didn’t have much if he didn’t give Jerruh the bird when he made him beg to take him back for more.

  25. Anybody who thinks Jones wasn’t trying to make it easier for Garrett to deal with not being renewed, considering their long-time relationship, isn’t paying attention.

    And besides, who cares at this point? He’s gone.

  26. How are so many people acting like Garrett hasn’t had more than enough to prove himself as a coach. You know what you’re going to get with him leading a team, mediocrity. If your owner is willing to accept mediocrity, then you have some mental gymnastics to do to explain to yourself why you should continue supporting such an owner

  27. The problem with Garrett isn’t so much that he couldn’t win games, but that he actually cost the Cowboys 2-3 games with his lack of knowing what play not to call/vetoing a KM call. If we had had even one of those losses back the Cowboys would have won the division. Jason just isn’t a good head coach. Nine and a half years was 6 years too many. So glad he’s gone.

  28. Yeah and had that hot bartender not come along I may have ended up marrying my high school sweetheart….she said she’d wait for me forever so I guess there is still a chance

  29. Kind of like when someone tell their bf or gf “We need to take a break” Its dumb and immature, and more proof JJ needs a GM.

    If you think it’s time to move on there is a reason for it.

  30. i dont believe this ‘report’ for 1 second. there was no way they were keeping garrett, this is just media loving to talk about the cowboys as it gets the most attention. are these the same ‘reporters’ that said garrett was assuming he was staying, and the one that said there was a 3rd meeting…or actually there wasnt a 3rd meeting…im confused…

  31. Cowboys, Cowboys, Cowboys. Boy the media loves to talk about them. But honestly, what have they done. They have been middle of the road or below for 20 years. It’s like your buddy bragging about the Busch Light that he drinks. Who the heck cares. Yeah, it’s cold, yellow and bubbly, but that’s about all.

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