At a much quicker pace than expected, Jason Garrett has moved closer to a Valley Ranch rarity, so rare that only Jimmy Johnson and Big Bill have made the cut. Garrett's real close, but he's not there yet.
Before we can officially declare Red J as the Cowboys' official football boss of bosses, one last thing needs to happen by the NFL's final cutdown-to-53 deadline on Saturday.
Marty B, injured or not, must be gone.
To keep it as impressively hard-core as Garrett has made it the last five weeks, to continue to make roster spots and starting jobs about on-the-field production and not about the number or name on the back of the uniform, am I wrong here on Martellus Bennett?
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Plus, if you scan the entire roster isn't Martellus the No. 1 pet of one Jerry Jones?
How can Jason be boss of bosses at Valley Ranch if Jerry's pet is allowed to hang around, dropping passes and cracking more jokes than linebackers?
Disclaimer: All of the above is a personal rant, except, of course, there is truth involved. Marty B won't be dumped, at least I don't think so.
It's now 23 seasons with Jerry as the owner/general manager/cheerleader at Valley Ranch, and there's been one playoff win since 1996. Your high school-age sons and daughters consider the Mavericks and Rangers the real winners around here, certainly not the Cowboys. Strange but true.
But over the course of time -- starting in 1989 -- only two head coaches have been in total charge of the roster, although we've got to admit Parcells had slippage when he allowed Jerry to talk him into "The Player."
Jerry, to his credit, introduced Garrett last winter as the new head coach, and swore on a stack of playbooks that Jason would have complete control of the 53-man roster.
There was a lockout-delayed reaction from Red J, but once the league cranked back up in late July, he has swung a mighty machete. Garrett has done things that were unheard of around here except in the dire roster situations involved with Jimmy and Bill in their first seasons.
Jerry has just watched as Garrett said goodbye to five starters from a season ago, with three of those in the offensive line. When receiver Roy Williams was also cut, Jerry had to swallow his own huge mistake, and when running back Marion Barber got the ax, there was a flashback to a huge new contract a couple of years ago.
But even with two rookies and a second-year undrafted guy now in the starting O-line, Jerry was a spectator as Garrett made these so un-Jerry-like moves.
This is the most encouraging sign of Valley Ranch change in years. The head coach is back in power. Right or wrong, the head coach is making the decisions.
Quick quote from Garrett this week on his days as a backup quarterback under Jimmy Johnson:
"I felt every minute of every day that I was on the practice field that his eyes were burning a hole in the back of my head. There was never a minute of any day that I was around him that I, as a player, and all the other players and coaches didn't know he was the head coach."
It's been said in this space forever that Jerry has no respect for the position of head coach, and even with Jimmy and Bill that opinion eventually surfaced. It could also obviously happen with Garrett down the road.
If the man who signs the paychecks doesn't respect his head coach, why would anyone be surprised when the players catch on to that, and also lose respect?
So far, however, Jason has gone Jimmy and Bill on Jerry, just with a very different personality involved, and the Cowsheep can pray that by now Mr. Jones has learned enough hard-way lessons to continue to allow his head coach to be the head coach.
But it will take time to see if that happens. And the team must show progress, then success, for it to happen.
Garrett, of course, got mixed reviews during his tenure as offensive coordinator, including from here.
I would ask his pals, some of them having gone from football to TV stars, if this guy was tough enough to eventually be a head coach. To me, none of that really surfaced during his OC days.
Their answer: "Wait and see. He will be the head coach. He will definitely be tough enough. You don't see it now because if he comes across as tough, it would be perceived as undermining a weak head coach, and that's not Jason."
Now we know, and know in a very short time. Those answers above were true, true, and true. Thanks, guys, for the advice, even if I doubted you.
For now, Garrett has created the most refreshing change at Valley Ranch since the day in 2003 when Big Bill walked into the building.
That tenure, of course, didn't work out as expected but Parcells' arrival delivered such optimism that at least it got built the best football stadium in the world.
Garrett has to keep the butts in the seats in that stadium. But the positive sign is he's not running scared, and he's not hiding behind aging players. This thing in the offensive line is a massive gamble. But those moves back up his continuing message.
Yes, Marty B will probably be an exception to the message, but in forgiveness, it's not too soon to go ahead and put Garrett in that rare company for the Jones Era.
Jason is the official football boss of bosses at Valley Ranch. For how long, only Jerry knows.
Randy Galloway can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on Galloway & Co. on ESPN/103.3 FM.
Randy Galloway, 817-390-7697