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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Could Coughlin make Cowboys a winner?

By Dan Graziano

Interesting Hot Button debate topic on ESPNDallas.com in advance of Sunday's game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Jean-Jacques Taylor and Calvin Watkins debate the issue of whether Giants coach Tom Coughlin could win a Super Bowl as coach of the Cowboys before current Cowboys coach Jason Garrett could. Jacques takes the side of "yes":
Coughlin would get the players on this Dallas team to maximize their talent, in part because he demands a disciplined approach. Parcells taught him about situational football, and he's adept at making sure his team plays with the proper disposition each week.

While Calvin thinks it would take much more than a coaching change, even to a coach as accomplished as Coughlin:
Coughlin
Meanwhile, the Cowboys' questionable decisions on draft day hamper the ability of the coach to get things moving in the right direction. And how many Cowboys players would be able to deal with Coughlin's in-your-face style? I couldn't see that happening. Coughlin wears his emotions on his sleeve, and you saw that during the blowup with Ahmad Bradshaw last week. Think that goes over well in Dallas? Doubtful. Coughlin has won two Super Bowls. He should get credit for that, but it's the players who win those games. He couldn't do that here.

As I said, interesting. I think one of the strongest things about Coughlin's resume is that it has the early success with expansion Jacksonville on it alongside the Super Bowl success he's had with the Giants. Being successful in two such totally different spots and situations speaks well of the ability of a coach to find a way to win with any team. And so my feeling is that I side with Jacques, believing that replacing Garrett with Coughlin would help make the Cowboys a better team. I still don't think Dallas is as deep with quality personnel across the roster as the Giants are, and I think that -- more than Garrett -- is what will keep them from being a legitimate contender this season. But as Jacques says at the end of his column, one of these guys has spent 17 years figuring out how to get the best out of NFL players. The other is still relatively new at it. And yes, occasionally, that shows.