Commentary

Don't expect Jason Garrett to lash out

Cowboys coach is who he is -- calm and collected day after embarrassing loss

Originally Published: October 3, 2012
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- You wanted Jason Garrett to be somebody else Tuesday.

You wanted the Dallas Cowboys head coach to show some public disdain like Bill Parcells used to do whether his team won or lost. You wanted some sort of Dennis Green moment that one day might turn into a funny beer commercial. Or you wanted a Herm Edwards' "you play to win the game" comment. Maybe a facetious Jim Mora -- Sr., not Jr. -- "Playoffs?" could have been mixed into the montage.

[+] EnlargeJason Garrett
AP Photo/Sharon EllmanCowboys coach Jason Garrett says his goals go well beyond just shooting for a title in 2012.

Or maybe you wanted a glib John McKay, who was once asked about his team's execution and said he was all for it.

Someday you will want Garrett to be like Jimmy Johnson and put something in "three-inch headlines," guaranteeing a Cowboys' win.

You're not going to get it. Ever.

With his team 2-2 after Monday's 34-18 embarrassment against Chicago and his offense scoring points as frequently as American Airlines has on-time departures lately, Garrett remained calm, cool and collected. Maybe you want to call it passive. Others might say professorial.

Whatever you want to call it, Garrett was Garrett on Tuesday.

"I think different coaches have different personalities," Garrett said. "One of the things I've learned a long time ago, really in life, as a player and certainly as a coach, is you have to be who you are. A lot of different coaches get it done in a lot of different ways. A lot of great coaches in all sports, you see a variety of personalities.

"You see guys who are really quiet, guys who are cerebral, you see guys who are ranting and raving all the time and throwing stuff at officials. There's a whole gamut of guys and people have won a lot of different ways. The one thing I would say is that I can't imagine any of those guys won trying to be somebody else and someone that they're not."

To steal the baseball vernacular, if Garrett flipped a table of food in the clubhouse, it would come across as disingenuous.

When their teams lose, fans want the players and coaches to feel their pain and express it the same way. You don't want reason and thoughtfulness. If you want to get rid of Mackenzy Bernadeau, then you want the coach to feel the same way. The big roster move Tuesday was the release of cornerback LeQuan Lewis, who had been with the team for three weeks to play special teams.

Garrett said he believes the Cowboys are "playing the best five guys," on the offensive line. For those of you holding out hope on Derrick Dockery -- or even Montrae Holland -- up front, it doesn't sound like a move is forthcoming.

"I think in general you have to be careful of change for change's sake," Garrett said. "You have to be convicted about what you believe in. I think you have to make as honest and true of an evaluation as you can about personnel. Sometimes, all things kind of being equal, 'We've been doing it this way, can we do it this way?' sometimes you can say that. But I don't know if that's change for change's sake. That's maybe just giving somebody else who's worthy of an opportunity a chance to do it. Change for change's sake is sometimes a little hollow, a little gimmicky to me. I think the decisions you make have to be well-founded with good reasoning."

How very Princeton of him, huh?

If you listened closely to what Garrett said and not how he said it Tuesday, then you would have gleaned a lot from Garrett.

He put blame on Dez Bryant for Tony Romo's first interception. He said rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne played the wrong technique in giving up Devin Hester's touchdown catch. He said Romo has to go back to the balance the quarterback displayed last year in cutting down the turnovers.

He also said -- get ready for it -- the Cowboys need to play better.

"They're not radical things," Garrett said, "It's not like, 'Hey guys, we got this new idea. We have this silver bullet: let's win the turnover battle.' This is something that's been emphasized."

It may not be Parcells-ian or Johnson-ian, but it doesn't mean it's wrong either.

"I think anybody who knows me, coaches and players on our football team, knows the passion and intensity I have for this game, and for coaching and teaching, trying to get this team right," Garrett said. "If you're around these walls, in these meetings, around these practice fields and together in an intimate setting on this football team, I think they understand my intensity. Jumping up and down on the sidelines is not really my personality, but certainly intensity and passion for the game is and for trying to get this team right."

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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