Twelve months ago the Rams had just put the finishing touches on a 3-13 effort. If the team had fired head coach Scott Linehan and replaced him with Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, I think most fans and media types would've praised the move.
As I've mentioned before, Garrett's star lost some luster after a seemingly indifferent Cowboys offense went through the motions these last four months. Of course, Tony Romo missing time with a pinky injury didn't help, but that doesn't explain the late-season implosion that kept Dallas out of the playoffs.
What it does explain is the tepid response from the St. Louis Dispatch's Bryan Burwell, who admits that names like Rex Ryan, Jim Haslett, Leslie Frazier and Steve Spagnuolo fit within general manager Jim Devaney's "publicly stated description of meat and potatoes' football guys and strong leaders of men," while Garrett, well, does not.
... I look at Garrett, and this is what I see: I see a so-called boy genius who went from the Cowboys' untouchable head-coach-in-waiting to a flawed character whom Jerry Jones has readily (eagerly?) allowed to freely seek other options.
So how do you go overnight from the NFL's highest-paid assistant coach - a mere heartbeat away from coaching the world's most famous football team - to a guy Jones is pretty much trying to palm off on any available suitor (sucker)?
Burwell adds: "I see a young coach who has shown some very obvious and disturbing signs that he is unable to handle the rough stuff that a leader must cope with inside a locker room." And just to make sure we get the point, he also points out Tony Romo's regression and a Cowboys offensive scheme "that opponents regarded as one of the most simplistic they'd seen since ... well ... Scott Linehan's easily dissected offensive X's and O's."
It's hard to argue any of this, and the fact that Cowboys didn't put up much of a fight when Garrett recently interviewed with the Lions reinforces the notion that owner Jerry Jones isn't too concerned with losing the guy he once thought would eventually replace Wade Phillips.
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On the upside, Garrett can't be worse than Linehan. Soft bigotry of low expectations, for the win, I guess.
At Least One Person in St. Louis Thinks Jason Garrett Isn't Good Enough to Coach Rams originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Tue, 13 Jan 2009 13:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.