Posted by Will Brinson
Jerry Jones took the podium for his press conference at 5:00 PM EST and didn't waste any time -- he confirmed the news that Wade Phillips was fired and that Jason Garrett had been named his replacement (with the title of "Interim Head Coach"). He also confirmed that Paul Pasqualoni
But Jones also pointed out that Garrett isn't the only one up for evaluation -- the players will be evaluated as well.
"I recently addressed the team and my comments to them were very brief and pointed," Jones said. "I told them they should not think that this is in any way an admission of defeat. We have eight games remaining and we will go into each game with only goal -- to win. I told them the evaluation process will begin with finding guys who play the hardest -- I told them we were looking for players who want to win the most."
Jones also stressed a need to "change the culture" of the Cowboys, and argued that Garrett is a perfect candidate to do so, perhaps even in a long-term situation.
"Jason certainly has been a part of long-term thinking for the Dallas Cowboys and for me," Jones said. "But what we're addressing on an interim basis is how to maximize how we're playing right now, this week at practice and with the Giants. And I do believe Jason has the temperament, the disposition to affect a culture change. I think this is important. We know all mens' style is different -- his style is one I think can be real effective."
Whether Garrett can actually change the laissez-faire style of discipline that the Cowboys are accustomed to remains to be seen, especially considering multiple reports circulating that he's not exactly popular with the team (Albert Breer of the NFL Network points out the majority of players 'don't like him at all.')
But if he can, there's a job waiting for him at the end of the rainbow; Jones made it abundantly clear that the remainder of the 2010 season is an interview for Garrett, and two things would determine whether or not his offensive savant stuck around in Big D: winning and effort.
"He does have the opportunity to get the job long term," Jones said. "That opportunity would be obvious if you step back and look at it, and if we do outstanding as a team and have very visible and tangible success, then certainly that's doing your job in a, if you will, crisis situation. And that kind of action goes beyond a resume, especially when you're in the foxhole with them."
That might not make a lot of Cowboys fans happy, as they're not particularly fond of Garrett's inability to energize the offense (and as Andy and I discussed earlier, opening up that can of worms could lead to missing some better coaching candidates).
But that doesn't matter -- Jones can talk about his "accountability" to the fans all he wants, but in the end, the decision is his, as owner, president and general manager, to make. And if he wants Jason Garrett to coach, Jason Garrett will coach.
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