Mac Engel

Big Mac Bites: If Jason Garrett goes, the Cowboys have his replacement on his staff

Among the many astounding facts of the Jason Garrett regime is a coaching tree that has no branches.

Law of averages says that an NFL head coach who has lasted nine seasons with the same franchise would have produced another head coach or two.

Even former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, with whom Garrett has been compared to frequently, produced two future head coaches from his staff; Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer were both coordinators under Lewis in Cincinnati when they were hired by Washington and Minnesota, respectively.

NFL assistant coaches bounce around like kids in a bounce house, and often fall up. No one from Garrett’s staff has bounced up.

Garrett’s staff has not only not produced any NFL head coaches, but only one NFL coordinator. Former passing game coordinator and linebackers coach Matt Eberflus left the Cowboys to become the defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts last year.

(When offensive line coach Bill Callahan left the Dallas Cowboys after the 2014 season, he accepted a similar title in Washington; he was named assistant head coach in 2017).

That’s the equivalent of taking 128 3-pointers, and making a free throw.

The irony is that the Jason Garrett Coaching Tree currently has a seedling that should produce a NFL head coach who will replace him.

With Saints head coach Sean Payton’s future availability uncertain, if this season, and specifically the postseason, do not go the way Stephen Jones desires, Garrett’s potential replacement is his defensive coordinator.

The expectation has been set for Garrett, who is in the final year of his contract, that he must take the Cowboys to the NFC title game, or else ...

Cowboys defensive backs coach and quasi defensive coordinator Kris Richard is an NFL head coach. Everyone with the Cowboys knows he is the one who will be the first Garrett assistant to be named an NFL head coach.

“If it comes, it comes. It’s the furthest thing from my mind,” he said Wednesday. “Am I prepared? Absolutely. I am prepared for this job right now.”

That an NFL head coaching job “is the furthest thing” from Richard’s mind is almost as convincing as the Democrat who is not thinking about running for President.

He interviewed for the top jobs with Miami, the Bucs and the Jets in January but was not offered. The NFL received criticism during an off-season that saw a number of African American coaches fired and replaced with mostly white guys.

One of the reasons the Arizona Cardinals hired recently fired Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury to be its head coach, despite his blah record, is because he’s a good looking white dude. That subconsciously played a role.

Bet big that the NFL will try to correct this during the next go around of hiring coaches, which will benefit Richard.

The Cowboys don’t want to lose him, but everyone involved is in a Catch-22. If the Cowboys reach the NFC title game, Garrett will be handed another five-year contract; Richard will also be handed a head coaching job elsewhere.

The Cowboys potential hiring of Sean Payton requires too many moons to align, and their first preference is Jason Garrett will reach the NFC title game, and then officially be adopted by the Jones’ family.

If it doesn’t work out, Kris Richard is ready for this job.


Talked to Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo this week; Su’a-Filo’s left eye has completely healed after he suffered one of the ugliest looking injuries I’ve ever seen last December in the game at Indianapolis.

In the game, his left eye was grotesquely swollen shut after a finger poked him. He said he never knew what happened, but that no one’s fingers actually touched his eye or went into the socket.

Su’a-Filo said the finger jabbed just under his left socket, which caused the area around the eye to cut and swell.

“It was Rocky, ‘Cut me Mick’” he said.

Remember, Su’a-Filo came back the next week to play.

It’s June, and the Texas Rangers are over .500. He won’t win it, but Chris Woodward should be a candidate for AL Manager of the Year.

The next time you see Fort Worth icon and long-time WBAP sports talk voice, and No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners’ enabler, Steve Lamb, be nice. Maybe give him a hug, or buy him a beer.

At the invite of my former college roommate, and ex-producer of Randy Galloway’s radio show, Chris “Mother Garcia,” we went on a recent fishing expedition to Toledo Bend Lake on the Texas/Louisiana border.

Steve had been fishing all day and had caught nothing but a clam. Steve handed me his fishing pole and, because I’m a nice guy, I didn’t want him to feel bad; I deliberately didn’t catch a fish on my cast. On my second cast I landed a trophy.

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