Mac Engel

It would be nice to see funny side of Cowboys’ Garrett

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, right, is warm and funny with his players, but plays things close to the vest with the media.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, right, is warm and funny with his players, but plays things close to the vest with the media. Star-Telegram

Coach Process has matured into the long-term head coach Jerry Jones envisioned when he tapped him to be this team’s offensive coordinator in 2007.

Jason Garrett is Jerry’s Tom Landry.

Assuming he doesn’t get fired, nine games into this season JG will pass Jimmy Johnson for most games coached under Jerry.

What Garrett also is is a polite version of Bill Belichick. Whereas Belichickis a social misfit, the man teammates once called J-Geezy is deliberately and purposefully bland as sand. The man would rather eat rat poison than say a single thing that may be misconstrued as controversial.

There is no greater force on the Dallas Cowboys than Jerry Jones, but the head coach is doing everything in his power to dull things up.

Other than the sorority catfight that broke out between receiver Dez Bryant and defensive back Tyler Patmon on Sunday afternoon, the Cowboys’ camp has been what their head coach desires — boring.

No franchise in sports has grasped the entertainment aspect to professional football better than the Dallas Cowboys. No owner in sports has grasped it any better than Jerry Jones. He has no problem with any of it because he fully realizes so much of it is ultimately for show. No other team in the NFL would have eagerly and gladly put extensive and outstanding footage of a intra-roster fight other than the Dallas Cowboys on its own website.

This head coach would never have done that, yet there are areas beyond his control.

Despite the security that comes with the five-year, $30 million deal he signed in the off-season, Garrett publicly remains dug in to not show a hint of the personality that his players so obviously have bought into.

Three times under Jerry have the Cowboys taken the personality of their head coach and it worked — Jimmy, Bill Parcells and now Garrett. Jimmy and Bill were both unafraid of their mouths whereas Garrett is spooked. Perhaps he is just a product of this 24/7 oversaturated media coverage that blows everything up in the endless search for something remotely interesting.

Since he took over for Wade Phillips in the middle of the 2010 season, Coach Process has tripped over himself to remain passionately dull. This is not a boring man.

In this day and age of paranoia and self importance, most coaches in every sport say little to nothing, but Garrett is second only to Belichick when it comes to dodging the question. The difference is Belichick is curt, brusque and notoriously short, while Garrett has mastered the art of filibustering, or killing the clock.

The irony is that privately, among his players, he is outstanding.

“He is a phenomenal speaker,” Cowboys veteran tight end Jason Witten said Sunday afternoon. “A great communicator; it’s one of the best traits he has. That’s why he has the respect of the players he has. It’s how honest he is in communicating.”

The irony, of course, is that while nearly all of his players say Garrett is honest to a fault, publicly he is completely full of it. According to Garrett, everybody is a fantastic player who is working hard to get better every day, even those whom he cuts. According to Garrett, all of the coaches he respects and learns a lot from, even those he demotes or does not bring back.

It is too bad Garrett is not comfortable to show a little bit more of his personality. He can be inspiring, funny, deprecating and knows how to tell a good story.

Infrequently, clips of Garrett talking to either his players after a game or even to a group of students or fans surface that reveal the side of his personality he works like a dog to conceal. Over the summer, he was filmed giving an 22-minute acceptance speech for an award he received at his alma mater, Princeton.

“I was a fledgling football player for 14 years,” he told the group. “Fledgling — barely hanging on.”

He went on to tell a funny story about leadership when he was a third-string QB with the Cowboys just trying to make the team, and its responsibility. He had the whole room in his hands.

“I’m in charge of the message,” he said.

The responsibility, and fear of anybody remotely misconstruing the message, has made an interesting man rather bland and the Dallas Cowboys, well, boring.

Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7697

Twitter: @macengelprof and The Big Mac Blog

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