Another week, another round of ridiculous name-calling in Dallas Cowboys-land

Posted Monday, Jan. 26, 2009  comments  Print Reprints
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As big as Texas is, it obviously is not big enough for the both of them. So T.O. or Jason Garrett? Who do you jettison?

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So now we are to believe Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is a racist, or at least that very uncomfortable white guy in the office who is always trying to give the black guys a pound or talking about how down he is with Jay-Z?

Apparently so. Or so says John Czarnecki of FoxSports.com.

While floating his theory about how all-powerful Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens torpedoed J.G. from becoming the next Rams head coach, he also casually notes J.G.’s “difficult time coaching black players”.

Wait, J.G. has a difficult time coaching black players? Since when?

Apparently since a line appeared somewhere in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch column or blog or random fan comment (where is not exactly clear) and this apparently is enough nowadays to warrant throwing this purported difficulty out as fact.

Not quoted, not sourced, not anything-ed, just this connect-the-dots idea that T.O. is black and mad at Garrett, who is white and doesn’t like TO and didn’t get the job. Bingo: J.G. can’t coach the black player, and T.O. is the one who let the cat out of the bag.

I am calling b.s. on this whole flawed premise.

For starters, I don’t think JG has a hard time with black players. I say this because, when he was hired I had to listen to his former Cowboy teammate Nate Newton tell me how great he was for what felt like two straight weeks. You would think if Garrett had trouble interacting with black players, it might have manifested itself at some point before right after the Packers game in September.

And if he has this problem, how do you explain last season when T.O. was a Pro Bowler for a 13-3 Cowboys team and lined up almost weekly to sing Garrett’s praises? All he could talk about was how much better Garrett was than the Bill Parcells/Todd Haley combo. Creative and open and easy to work with were all praises that came out of T.O.’s mouth. Are we really to believe this all changed in less than a year? Or did T.O.’s production just plummet?

This is not to pretend there is not friction now. It is not news that these two no longer like one another and both want the other to go, which is also why it makes zero sense for T.O. to be trying to keep Garrett from landing the Rams job. He wants him gone, so he can stay.

And while T.O. has become a divisive force and probably needs to go, this whole interjecting of race into the discussion sounds more Deion than T.O. And I hardly see T.O. calling St. Louis writers to float his theory of racial disharmony even if he did feel this way. The whole thing reeks of dog piling in this time of Cowboy turmoil.

There is no doubt they are flawed. There is no doubt this locker room is divided. There is no doubt that a lot of guys do not have a whole lot of faith in Jason Garrett at the moment, and probably with reason. A whole other set of guys do not like T.O., and with good reason.

What I have not heard is anybody, until now, say this had anything to do with race. It was about a coordinator who struggled in his second year and a mouthy wide receiver who thinks he should get the ball on every play and how the locker room took sides and a team who was not nearly as good as it should have been and was downright gutless in its final game in Philly. It is about pointing fingers and lack of leadership. It is about power plays and snitches. It is about cleaning up the mess. It is about not having the foggiest idea of how.

And now we are to believe it is about a coordinator who suddenly has a difficult time coaching black players.

I don’t buy it, and neither should anybody else.

So while I ponder how Czarnecki “knows” more Cowboy players respect T.O. than Romo, let’s chow down on a helping of Monday Morning Musings.

1. What the Mavs did Sunday in Boston was, frankly, embarrassing.

I am not sure the Celtics are not the best team in the NBA. They are certainly the best I have seen this season. So there is no shame in losing to them. There is shame in how the Mavs lost, without much of anything from their best player, without defense, without fight. I am sure somebody will say this is the result of a long road trip but, considering they took a night off in Milwaukee, I’m not buying. These types of games happen to often with the Mavs.

2. With defensive coordinator Brian Stewart officially scapegoated and a former, Coach Wade gets to bring another of “his guys”.

Oh boy. How fun for whoever he is, and for us.

The name of the moment is former 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, who coincidentally was the guy Wade wanted all along before settling on Stewart. And luckily now he is available, since Mike Singletary booted his butt.

And good luck, Greg, friends of Wade usually do not fare well.

EDIT: Just heard from The 49ers who say Manusky is under contract and, as far as they know, not going to be fired. Of course, so was Stewart at one time.

3. “The Cowboys could be the Cardinals” is a popular theory among the pom-pom crowd. And I see this except for this one teeny, tiny area.

The Cardinals, as screwed up as they usually are, handled their backup QB situation in a responsible, professional manner. They did not worry about Matt Leinart’s feelings, just what was best in case. They signed Kurt Warner and told him he had a chance to start and played him when necessary.

And your Cowboys signed Brad Johnson.

And kept Brad Johnson long after they knew he could not play.

And they were not prepared when bad things happened.

And that is why they can not be the Cardinals, not right now, not as presently constructed.

4. What is Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli thinking?

He has been GM for what, a week? And he goes and fires coach Herm Edwards despite him only having two years as Chiefs head coach.

Pioli apparently has not heard Owner Jones’ theory that this is unfair and prevents continuity and leads to what we’ll call Chan Gailey regret. He brought his silly Patriots thinking with him, obviously, where you only stick with something if it is working.

5. The NHL is screwed up and Gary Bettman is an idiot but the NHL All-Game is solid.

It was entertaining to watch. They rigged it to end in a shootout.

And most importantly, they ensured all of their All-Star players played by saying, if they didn’t show, they’d be suspended for a game on the other side.

6. Does this Super Bowl have any buzz, aside from Bruce Springsteen playing halftime?

7. Just fyi, Coach Wade does have an ego, is not going to step down /take a step back/whatever and will never be the Cowboys defensive coordinator.

Sorry to burst that bubble, really I am. He actually is quite good at this job. And every week, I received at least 10 emails with hopeful questions about the chances of this becoming reality. The answer is none. The guy made not be a leader, but he does have pride.

8. So the Rangers still have questions about free-agent pitcher Ben Sheets’ health.

What could those possibly be? Do they really need a second and possibly 10th opinion to tell them that he’s a train-wreck physically? I can do that for free. So can Brewers fans. So can anybody with even a rudimentary understanding of his history.

One more time: This risk factor is why Texas has a chance to sign him.

Why they have to take on the risk is because their genius GM traded away their homegrown pitching studs.

9. Your homework assignment was to be hopeful, or as hopeful as possible, answering what Cowboy move from this offseason gives you hope next season will be better?

We here at LBOH headquarters were inundated with emails, but not much hope. OK, a little hope. Of course, Owner Jones could add to the hope if he just listened to y’all and your suggestions for offseason moves he might want to make.

So in no particular order, as we do every week, we present my favorite responses:

Marcus Cox of Nacogdoches writes “honestly, nothing the front-office has done gives me hope for next season. The only thing that gives me hope is that Jason Witten is still on the roster and that they just took him in to the Terminator factory to change his oil and filter. So long as that guy is wearing a bloodied Cowboy's jersey, I have hope” while Matt Hall of Norfolk, VA, points to firing special teams coach Bruce Read adding “our Cowboys are on the verge of becoming the NFL's laughingstock and nothing says ‘laughingstock’ more than Bruce Read. If you’re going to sport a cereal bowl-haircut/leather bar-moustache combo, you’d darn sure better be good at your job, even in the NFL where fashion and mores can lag a few decades behind.”

Will White of Destin, Florida adds “what Cowboy move would give me hope? Only two: 1) that the Cowboys actually move (doesn’t L.A. still need a team?); or, 2) that Jerry Jones and Bill Bidwell swap teams. Now what does THAT say, that Jones has slipped behind Bidwell in the owner rankings?”

My favorite comes from Kent Hoeffner of Woodway who hopes Coach Cupcake and Owens go buh-bye but … “another basis for hope? I know this will sound a little bit rah-rah (a la Coach Cupcake), and it would be unacceptable for a coach or player to say it, but I’m just a die-hard fan, so here goes. Just think, as badly as the Boys played at times this past season, if they had avoided that stupid blocked punt in Arizona (and gone on to win that game in OT), they would have had to potential to be where Arizona is. … So it’s not inconceivable that with just a little positive change--firing Read and Pacman is a start, and firing T.O. would be a big step--they’ll be real contenders (instead of hypothetical ones) next year. Hey, I'm a die-hard Jengel-fan, too, so don’t knock starry-eyed optimism too much!”

10. Your turn: Who do you think the locker room respects more: TO or Romo? Please remember to include your name AND LOCATION for credit purposes. I am all about credit.

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