Jason Garrett learning on job in win-now window

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
9:33
AM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Jerry Jones believes he has a team built to win now.

He knows the Dallas Cowboys better be ready to win right away when he looks at the roster.

The Cowboys' four most accomplished players -- outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, tight end Jason Witten, quarterback Tony Romo and nose tackle Jay Ratliff -- will be on the wrong side of 30 when this season starts. The time is now if the Cowboys want to cash in on their prime.

How about head coach Jason Garrett?

"I think Jason is just the first steps out of the box," Jones said.

So you have an owner in win-now mode who employs a head coach who is learning on the job. If that seems like a strange fit, you can blame the general manager, which goes for pretty much everything that has gone wrong at Valley Ranch in the past decade and a half.

Just know that owner/GM Jones wouldn't want any other coach in charge of the Cowboys.

Jones, who has hired seven head coaches, said he thought Garrett would be "my Tom Landry" when the interim tag was officially removed from the former Cowboys backup quarterback's title. Jones remains convinced that the 46-year-old Garrett will be a great coach despite a rocky first full season on the job.

"With his intellect and with his passion and his temperament -- he's an overachiever, but a smart one -- I think the sky is the limit for him," Jones said.

Hey, Landry didn't even win a game during his first season in charge of the Cowboys. It took seven years for Landry to have a winning season.

Of course, Landry took over an expansion team with no built-in expectations. Garrett took over America's Team that somehow is part of the annual preseason Super Bowl hype regardless of what happened the previous season, probably in large part due to Jerry's marketing genius.

The marketing genius, however, will be remembered as a football fool if his franchise doesn't win a Lombardi Trophy without Jimmy Johnson's fingerprints all over it. (Figuratively speaking, in the case of the Cowboys' last Super Bowl title.)

And Jones' sense of urgency is as strong as ever, regardless of Garrett's inexperience as a head coach.

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