January 23, 2013

Jerry Jones is certainly making Jason Garrett uncomfortable

Did you hear the one about the urgent text message Manti Te'o sent this week to Jason Garrett? Manti's plea to Jason was:

"Please, sir, draft me. I've always wanted to play for an imaginary head coach."

Bada, bada, boom.

Got to admit, it's been uncomfortable watching this thing unfold the last couple of weeks.

Slowly but surely, slice by slice, a good man has been gelded, and it's been a gelding process that has played out in full public view.

Garrett is all of that. A good man. Maybe he's also a good football coach, or at least somewhere else he would be.

But this is here. And here, it's a circus. The only circus in the world with a clown for the ringmaster.

This is not, however, a misty-eyed excuse column for the Cowboys' head coach.

The man offered him a job. Jason Garrett took it. He took the job knowing full well that the man offering the job is infamously unstable as the owner of a local football team.

History also tells us Garrett turned down the opportunity to coach two other NFL teams so he could stay with the infamously unstable owner of a local football team.

One of those teams was Baltimore. The Ravens are still playing football. The other was Atlanta. The Falcons were still playing football until last weekend.

Because of Garrett's long tenure with the Cowboys' organization, there was also no coach in America who had better inside info on the whims and fantasy binges of the unstable owner. Garrett stepped into this job, eyes wide open, and fully vetted on all possible scenarios that could and probably would unfold.

By the way, he's also still carrying the title of head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, with two years remaining on a contract that will fetch him, financially, somewhere in the vicinity of $8 million guaranteed.

I'm not sure the 8 mil is currently worth it for Jason, but at least he won't miss a car payment. Oh, wait. His car is free.

But today, with Garrett being basically humiliated, job-wise, I can still offer a possible upside to the latest news that Jason will no longer be calling the offensive plays for the Cowboys.

I think it's a good thing, or it would have been a good thing. There have been several strong suggestions from here over the last two years that Garrett should give up the play-calling and transform himself into a real walk-around head coach, concentrating on all areas of the teams.

Now, he is. He's a walk-around head coach.

The kicker, of course, is it should have been Jason making that decision. Instead...

"Rest assured, this would not be being done if our head coach Jason Garrett wasn't absolutely all in," Jerry Jones said this week.

Jerry, meet Lennay Kekua. Lennay, this is Jerry. I think an imaginary friendship in your imaginary world is about to happen.

Mr. Jones, of course, is severely backtracking here on his strange and recent diatribe (since Wade Phillips was hired) that his head coach had to be a play-calling coordinator, which, outside of Chan Gailey, had never been the case.

If we could actually believe Jerry, and believe Garrett is absolutely all in, then we could move on. But Jason being unwilling to listen to his friend, Jimmy Johnson, caused Jerry to be the one who listened to his friend, Jimmy.

At the moment, I'd say the Jimmy-Jerry friendship is a bit strained, but eventually, they will get it back together.

For the record, I talked to Jimmy on Wednesday just to ask if he was now an "adviser" to Jerry, and the response was a good laugh, with a reply there had been no contact recently.

But it does appear that Jerry is "listening" to Jimmy.

It was Jimmy who almost pleaded with Garrett to give up the play-calling duties going back to that clock management foul-up out in Arizona in the 2011 season.

Then came this season, when Jimmy and Jerry had a verbal dust-up after Jimmy unloaded on the "country club" atmosphere at Valley Ranch, a statement that hits close to home for Jerry, and also reportedly hissed him off.

"What I said was there was no fear at Valley Ranch, and that any football team has to operate on a fear basis," Johnson said Wednesday.

As soon as this season was over, Jerry started talking "fear." He promised "changes." He promised an "uncomfortable" atmosphere.

Much to my surprise, Jerry had certainly delivered on his pledges of change and making things uncomfortable.

"But the difference is the fear has to come from the head coach," added Johnson.

So even if Garrett is doing the right thing by giving up play-calling (just my opinion), it came out all wrong when we know it's a move orchestrated by Jerry.

But, hey, Jason took the job. And took the man's money. And now the man has taken over.

So it goes in the never-ending Valley Ranch adventures.

Randy Galloway can be heard weekdays 3-6 p.m. on Galloway & Co. on ESPN/103.3 FM.

Randy Galloway, 817-390-7697

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