I dedicate that one name to all of those who are now doubting (a.) Jason Garrett is the head coaching answer for the local football team, or (b.) who never thought Jason Garrett was the head coaching answer, or (c.) anyone still totally confused about Red J’s clock management malfunction in those final 26 seconds in Baltimore.
But why Mike Holmgren?
Returning to the ABCs, with an additional D:
As of this week, Holmgren has been ordered to hit the NFL street. At the end of the season, he will be out of work in Cleveland, where he’s served as team president.
I’ve been adamant since Garrett took over as interim head coach two years ago that the CowSheep should pray for Jason’s success, because Jerry Jones’ “next” hire at head coach is guaranteed to be a Jerry houseboy.
Garrett is his own man, but he’s also very compatible with Jones, and is respected by Jones, who is notorious for disrespecting the job of the head coach.
You are barking at the moon if you think anyone on the list of potential “name” candidates (Cowher, Gruden, the sudden emergence of Andy Reid after this season, etc.) would last more than five minutes with Jerry. Bobby Petrino? I laughed, although with Jerry, never say never.
I have heard it said since the mid-’90s, when the Green Bay Packers replaced Jones and the Cowboys as the NFC Super Bowl representative, that a strong mutual admiration society exists between these two.
While Holmgren was going to Super Bowls with the Packers, and later in the 2000s with Seattle, I have heard the Valley Ranch voices say if Mike ever became available then there would be the good possibility of a Valley Ranch match.
Since I’ve repeatedly dismissed all those other names, OK, now you can go ahead and stick the name of Mike Holmgren in your hip pocket and sit on it for a while.
Next up, the disclaimers.
Holmgren hasn’t been a head coach since 2008, is 64 years old, and obviously wanted to work forever as the shot-caller for the Browns’ front office. New ownership, however, wanted new direction.
There is nothing to suggest Holmgren wants to return to the sidelines.
Then there’s Garrett.
No matter what happens the remainder of this season, I’d make it 99.9 percent that Jason is back here next season as the head coach.
Actually, I’ll double down on that prediction.
I’d make it 90 percent that Garrett has two more seasons, after this season, to get it right as the head coach.
Granted, with Jerry, it’s risky going 90 percent or above on any predictions, particularly when it comes to his head coach. But Jones, admittedly, always errs on the side of “too long” instead of a quick trigger when it comes to his head coaches.
With Barry Switzer, Jerry concedes he should have retired him two years earlier. With Wade Phillips, Jerry admits he should have retired him a year earlier. Dave Campo stayed at least a year too long. With Bill Parcells, it’s a guess, but I’d say Big Bill wore out his welcome with Jerry at least two years before he departed after four seasons here.
The only quick trigger Jerry has ever had on a head coach was firing Chan Gailey after two seasons, which he also says he regrets.
The lone possibility of Jerry giving Garrett the heave-ho would emerge if attendance numbers at the Big Yard crash this season and next season. Even then, the firing of Garrett would be sacrificial, because if the fans stop coming that’s a backlash against Jerry not the head coach.
As an adamant but now shaken supporter of Garrett, the truth from here is the final 26 seconds in Baltimore caused added doubt to creep in.
Obviously, there was no sense of urgency by basically any player on the field as those precious seconds ticked off. The blame game has been recorded, mainly aimed at Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree, but it doesn’t appear that any player, including Tony Romo, knew what the heck to do next.
And that confusion is squarely on the head coach, the same as the clock management malfunction was in Arizona last December.
By coincidence, Mike Holmgren’s name surfaced this week.
No, I’m not saying Garrett’s job is in jeopardy. No, I’m not saying Holmgren even wants to coach again.
But as opposed to a Cowher or a Gruden, the Holmgren name is one that “fits” with Jerry, a hard man to find a fit when it comes to a head coach.
Go ahead, sit on that name.
Randy Galloway | Ft Worth Star-Telegram