Last offseason, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid offensive coordinator Jason Garrett roughly $3 million to hang around Dallas instead of taking a head coaching gig. Presumably, the plan was to have Garrett replace Wade Phillips at some point in the near future. This is what happens when a team wins 13 games and the offense leads the conference in scoring.
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Unfortunately, the 2008 season was marred by injuries, alleged Valley Ranch dissension and, of course, Ed Werder. The Cowboys stumbled to nine wins, missed the playoffs, the Garrett's star, along with the offense, faded down the stretch.
And now the organization might be willing to let Garrett, the guy Jones worked so hard to keep last spring, leave to take the head job elsewhere. Which says as much about Garrett as it does about Phillips and various "guess who'll be running the team in '10?" rumors.
The Inside the NFL folks discuss one potential Garrett landing spot (via the Dallas Morning News' Barry Horn):
On [Wednesday's] show insider Michael Lombardi anoints Jason Garrett the leading candidate for the vacant Detroit Lions job because is "the guy they think can turn their franchise around."
That prompts Cris Collinsworth to ask: if the Cowboys have lost faith in Garrett. Responds Lombardi: "You know, I think there's a lot of truth to that."
Lombardi went on to add: "Well, as you guys know, the Lions need a quarterback desperately. And I think Sam Bradford, the young man from Oklahoma who's going to play (Thursday)... who's a sophomore, a red shirt sophomore, so he's eligible for the draft. He can come out. He's going to declare and come out. And I think that now makes Detroit a very attractive job."
I think Lombardi is very good at what he does, and he's obviously very qualified to comment on such matters, but unless Jesus Christ declares for the draft AND says he's willing to play in Detroit (nope, doesn't count), then there's not a soul currently inhabiting this planet who suddenly "makes Detroit a very attractive job."
Look, the Falcons and Dolphins have taught us that (kick-ass personnel guys + Coach of the Year candidate)*crapload of luck = quickest way to turn things around and make the playoffs.
The Lions have made strides in the front office, although we won't really know if it was enough until a year from now. But given that the Cowboys seem unworried about losing Garrett doesn't exactly instill much confidence in his abilities. And while Sam Bradford certainly earned the Heisman honor, I'm pretty sure he won't do for some hapless franchise in '09 what Matt Ryan did for Atlanta this season.
Can Jason Garrett, Sam Bradford Save Lions From Themselves? originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Fri, 09 Jan 2009 08:50:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.