It’s probably best that I start out by stating the obvious: the Cowboys pitiful season is beautiful and awesome. The Cowboys being this bad — in a season with such high expectations — it’s one of those wonderful things that makes life worth living.
With that said, we can move onto the less obvious: who Jerry Jones needs to hire to coach his football team.
And to make an educated choice, one needs to understand the dynamics of this team. This starts at the top. Jerry Jones is as public an owner as anyone in the NFL. He wants it this way. He makes personnel decisions despite not having a scouting background (or much of a football background at all).
He speaks in public despite a penchant for making statements his fellow owners and quite often members of his own organization wishes he wouldn’t.
In short, he’s not your typical hands off owner. As the coach, you’ll be operating under his constantly looming personality. Then you can add to that the media dynamic. Eyes are always on the Cowboys. Local and national media. The never ending news cycle.
It’s not for the weak minded or those prone to being overcome by emotion. And it’s not for those who want total control of the organization.
You need a strong voice in the locker room. And someone who’ll need to show discipline not only there but when facing the media. For the Cowboys problems have often been aired to the public. It’s been a recipe for disaster and Jones should seek someone who gets the players’ respect and can keep it by not making mistakes in front of the press that embarrasses them.
Mike Florio says it shouldn’t be Jon Fox. I disagree. Let me explain why.
Florio claims the Cowboys need someone who will take full control.
Jones needs someone who wants full control, because Jones doesn’t know how to exercise full control.
That’s fine to say, but Jerry Jones isn’t going to let that happen. And in the long run, Jones as the final decision maker on personnel is bad for the Cowboys. But in the short-term this team has talent. It’s shallow — they need line depth, particularly — but there’s no reason this team isn’t competing for a playoff spot in 2011.
Florio also claims Fox “ran the Panthers into the ground.”
And while you can take a look at the recent history of the Panthers and draw that conclusion, keep in mind this team was a steamroller in 2008. Fox’s fall mirrors that of Jake Delhomme. When Delhomme’s play dropped off a cliff, the Panthers were not ready to replace him. You may claim that to be partially Fox’s fault too, but many good coaches have had their seasons ruined by poor quarterback play.
And the Cowboys already have a good quarterback.
Fox had this team in a Super Bowl. Fox ran a disciplined ship in Carolina. Fox knows how to deal with the media, and any coach that lasts as long as he did with one team is someone who gets the respect of his players.
As an Eagles fan, I hope Jerry Jones sticks with Jason Garrett and he fizzles. But as a non-partisan observer, I’d advise him to interview John Fox this winter.