Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson is raising questions about the atmosphere at Valley Ranch. Johnson called Valley Ranch a "country club" during an interview on the Dan Patrick Show.
"All the players in this league think they’re self-motivated and that’s a bunch of bull because there are only a handful that are self-motivated," Johnson said. "So you’ve got to motivate these players through some respect but the No. 1 motivator is fear. Fear of letting down your teammates, being embarrassed or fear of losing the job. Where is the fear in Dallas? There’s no fear in Dallas. It’s a country club where everybody is buddies."
Coach Jason Garrett has changed the climate at Valley Ranch sharply from how it was under Wade Phillips. Of course, Phillips changed the atmosphere from how it was under Bill Parcells.
Garrett was asked about Johnson’s comments.
"I don’t really have any comment on that," Garrett said. "We do things the way we do things here and from a football standpoint we believe we practice the right way, we meet the right way and create the right atmosphere of urgency for our players it’s what I learned as a player and coach in this league. And that’s what we’re trying to create with our football team."
And a players’ view, courtesy of Jason Witten:
“I didn’t hear about it, but obviously he’s a great coach here in this franchise and won a lot of Super Bowls,” Witten said. “I haven’t seen him around a lot. The guys are working hard. Ultimately (talk like Johnson’s) is going to happen, but I don’t think as a player you can worry about that. You’ve got to fix it. We know the expectations. Trust me, we feel it every day and so I don’t think you allow that (talk) to get in but obviously got a lot of respect for him.”
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was asked about Johnson’s comments Thursday.
"When you’re out here, when you’re involved in it, and you’re here every day, i think you understand the importance of each football game," Romo said. "All I can speak about is me, the grind and the way it works on you when you don’t win a football game, it’s just enormous. The way you constantly evaluate and think about how to improve and get better and take the next step. it consumes your thoughts. That’s really what happens after a loss, so I don’t know what anybody else feels or thinks, but that’s absolutely what you try to do to improve and get better."
Johnson has formed a good relationship with Garrett in terms of being a mentor. In the same interview with Patrick, Johnson questioned whether Garrett would remain the man in charge at Valley Ranch.
"Jason Garrett is probably coaching for his job for the rest of the year," Johnson said. "This game with Philadelphia on Fox may decide the future of coaches and players with those two teams."
Maybe Johnson was channeling Bob Arum, the boxing promoter who hypes fights. And with the Eagles and Cowboys at 3-5, the loser most likely will see their playoff hopes disappear. So creating media drama is expected.
The quarterback, Tony Romo, who’s got one year left on his deal, might also be on the way out according to Johnson.
"I would extend Tony Romo unless I had somebody better, and they don’t have anybody better," Johnson said.
EDITORS COMMENT: At The Boys Are Back blog we are always interested in your view. I agree with Jimmy Johnson on his point of most players needing motivation. Jason Garrett has had many influences in his career as a Dallas Cowboy player, offensive coordinator, and head coach. He uses a hybrid style that blends those influences (Tom Landry, Bill Parcells, Jimmy Johnson). Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells were more outwardly aggressive and verbally expressive on camera. Tom Landry more reserve publically, but privately critical and a strict disciplinarian. Jason Garrett’s style falls somewhere in the middle. He’s young and still figuring out his style and approach. As fans, we do not know what happens behind closed doors at Valley Ranch or in the locker room. We do know that the players seem to be behind him and appear to be buying into his system. When the day comes when they don’t … that’s the day to begin worrying. Jason Garrett is evolving … and like the Dallas Cowboys, he’s a work in progress.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones stops by practice, defends Garrett
Stephen Jones visited practice and ran into reporters, one of whom stopped him to get his thoughts on the topics of the day. Before long, everyone with a notepad and camera had surrounded the Cowboys’ executive vice president.
Is Jason Garrett coaching for his future?
“I won’t even comment on that. Period. That’s ridiculous,” Jones said.
Any comment on Jimmy Johnson saying there is a country-club atmosphere at Valley Ranch?
“Don’t have one.”
A comment or a country club?
“Don’t have one.”
“Any serious questions?”
What kind of job do you think Garrett is doing?
“First of all, I think Jason is incredibly smart. No one understands the game more,” Jones said. “He grew up at a breakfast table knowing about the NFL. His father was a coach. His father was a scout. He understands the league. He is a great leader. He leads our team in a great way.
“I think he understands the game. He has been a very success offensive coordinator. He started having success immediately. It wasn’t like there was a huge learning curve for him as a play caller. We have had a lot of great offenses here under Jason. We are moving the ball good this year for the most part. The players respect him. He demands accountability.”
Jones agreed that turnovers are a problem this year. The Cowboys have 19, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for second-most in the NFL.
“We have to do better there. I think we are improving,” Jones said. “We protected the ball against the Falcons. They are a good football team. We are doing some things to cause turnovers. We are tipping balls. They just didn’t come our way. We were hitting the quarterback hard. The ball was on the ground. We just didn’t recover it.
Asked if the Cowboys were underachieving at 3-5, Jones said, “Absolutely. We had higher expectations than this. We are disappointed with our record. We have to play better. We have to finish.”
Four of Jason Garrett’s worst losses as Cowboys head coach have come in the team’s last six games. The Cowboys have lost those four by an average of 16.5 points.
In a league structured for parity, those lopsided defeats to the Bears, Seahawks, Giants and Eagles are somewhat alarming.
Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager says he doesn’t see it that way.
“I could go into each game and see how we got on a lopsided score,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “But I thought, candidly, one of the worst games we’ve played is against Tampa. We didn’t play well against Tampa, so the score can be misleading. For instance, I can say turnovers last week against Chicago. I can say we really did become generally careless, I guess would be the word. But once we got three scores down, we were running out of time (and) we certainly did cut and chew and basically throw into … coverage. Chicago’s real good, so those last two interceptions were right into the teeth of what they do the best. They’re a Cover 2 team. You do those outside, little elongated throws in there and you’re going to get them intercepted against Chicago. I look at that. That’s a couple of scores right there. … That’s a couple right there that contributed to the lopsidedness of things.”
Is there too much on Garrett’s plate? With Garrett being both head coach and offensive coordinator, Jones was asked if there has been any talk of handing the play-calling over to offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who also carries the title of offensive coordinator.
“No, there haven’t,” Jones responded.
Entering Friday, the Cowboys ranked last in the NFC in points scored, averaging 16.2 per game. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL team averaging less at 15.5 per game.
“I believe in a head coach being one of the coordinators,” Jones said. “That’s debatable. I’ve had people say the head coach needs to be what I call a walk-around head coach, and that is he just looks at everything. We’ve had at least two of them in Bill Parcells and Tom Landry — of course I wasn’t here when Tom was here — that did everything. They ran the whole thing. Although they had coordinators or run coaches or passing coaches. I’m sounding a way that I don’t want to sound because it can work.
“I like the coach being one of the coordinators, preferably the offensive coordinator. But of course in Wade Phillips’ case, he was the defensive coordinator. When you do that, you’re going to get in down times, loss times. You’re going to get people to say, ‘They do too much. They’ve just got too much on their plate.’ You have to look at that. Jason has huge capacity to cover a lot of ground, so if anybody can do it, or look to the future, he can.”
SOURCE: The Jerry Jones Show on 105.3 The Fan
Click on the PLAY button to listen to the entire show. Several issues are covered, including ‘being in the stew’. Enjoy!
IRVING, Texas – Jason Garrett was almost never the head coach in Dallas after serving as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator for former coach Wade Phillips in 2007.
Garrett was widely reported to have been offered the head-coaching job in Jan. 2008 for the team the Cowboys will travel to face after the bye week.
With Phillips unlikely to be vacating the top coaching position at the time, Garrett interviewed in various cities before the 2008 season, with Baltimore as the likeliest destination. Garrett said the Ravens ran their organization well from top to bottom, and he enjoyed his experience interviewing for the job.
“They’ve had a track record of winning there for a number of years,” Garrett said. “They’ve been very successful. When I was playing with the Giants in 2000, we played them in the Super Bowl. Since that time, they’ve been one of the best franchises in football.”
Despite his admiration for the Ravens’ organization, including owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome, Garrett eventually decided to return to Dallas with the additional title of assistant head coach.
He remained in that position until midway through the 2010 season, when he became the interim head coach of a 1-7 Cowboys team and went 5-3 down the stretch.
The interim tag was removed in his first full season as the Cowboys’ head coach last year, and now for the first time since leaving his interviews in Baltimore, Garrett will make a trip back to play the team that nearly became his employer.
Baltimore eventually chose former Eagles special teams and defensive backs coach John Harbaugh for the head-coaching job in 2008. Harbaugh has compiled a 47-21 record since taking over, reaching the postseason every year.
“They’re really well coached, and they’ve got a lot of good players,” Garrett said. “You think about Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and those guys, those are marquee players, those are first-ballot Hall of Famers, the best players at their position of their generation. Those guys have been the leaders there for a long time. They do things the right way. I was very impressed.”
Former Cowboys linebacker Bradie James has signed with the Houston Texans.
The terms of his contract weren’t disclosed, according to the team’s official website.
James, 31, had played his entire career in Dallas, starting 111 games in nine seasons for the Cowboys after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2003.
In Houston, he will be reunited with former Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, the Texans’ defensive coordinator.
During his final season with the Cowboys, James’ role was reduced as 2010 second-round draft pick Sean Lee became the team’s primary inside linebacker.
As Lee made headlines, James faded into the background. He was on the field for only 414 snaps — fewer than half the total he played the previous season.
Once a fixture in the Cowboys’ lineup, he led the team in tackles each season from 2005 until 2010.
But despite his contributions, the Cowboys didn’t make an apparent effort this off-season to re-sign James, who was an unrestricted free agent. Instead, they acquired Dan Connor of the Carolina Panthers last month, leaving James to go to Houston.
One of Jason Garrett’s final messages to the Cowboys’ players on Monday was to watch the playoffs and let the feeling burn a little and serve as motivation in the offseason.
If the players take Garrett up on that message, then they will see some familiar faces playing or coaching on wild-card weekend. There are 10 former players among the six teams playing this weekend and five former coaches.
Cincinnati – Mike Zimmer, Pacman Jones, Dennis Roland
Pittsburgh – Shaun Suisham
Houston – Wade Phillips, Reggie Herring, Bobby King
New York Giants – Chris Canty. (Isaiah Stanback is on the practice squad.)
Detroit – Bobby Carpenter, Leonard Davis, Stephen Peterman
New Orleans – Pat McQuistan, Scott Shanle, Sean Payton
Only Denver and Atlanta do not have former Cowboys players and coaches
HOUSTON — Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips says he will have surgery this week to address a kidney condition.
Phillips said Wednesday that he will miss a week to 10 days. He would not specify the condition, but said it is not life threatening, is not cancer, and that doctors recommended that he have the procedure.
Houston (10-3) plays Carolina (4-9) on Sunday.
The 64-year-old Phillips hopes to return in time for Houston’s regular-season finale against Tennessee at Reliant Stadium. Linebackers coach Reggie Herring will run the league’s top defense in Phillips’ absence.
Through 10 games of the season, it’s far enough to start getting a solid gauge on how this team, and individual players rank around the league.
For those who really only care about one stat and one stat only – this isn’t for you. Just take the Cowboys’ 6-4 record and wait until it changes next Thursday afternoon.
But for others who like to see how the team and players stack up, here are a few things to point out from this week’s league statistics.
· The Cowboys one of only two teams to be ranked in the top 15 of the six main stat categories – total offense (6th), total defense (10th), run offense (10th), run defense (11th), pass offense (6th) and pass defense (13th). The only other team with rankings across the board that high is Houston. The Wade Phillips-led defense ranks first in the NFL.
· Tony Romo is ranked fourth the NFL in quarterback rating at 99.4 Romo is behind the three QBs widely considered the best in the game in Aaron Rodgers (128.8), Tom Brady (102.0) and Drew Brees (101.3).
· Romo continues to lead the NFL in fumble recoveries with six.
· DeMarcus Ware regained the sack lead on Minnesota’s Jared Allen (13.5) with his 14th sack on Sunday.
· After a slow start, DeMarco Murray is up to ninth in the NFL in rushing with 747 yards, two behind Steven Jackson (749).
· Of all players with at least 100 rushing attempts, Murray leads them in rushing average at 6.0 yards a carry.
· Dan Bailey is one of two players to eclipse 100 points this year. He ranks just behind San Francisco’s kicker David Akers (102) for first place in total scoring.
· The only stat the Cowboys lead the entire NFL is field-goal percentage. Dan Bailey is 25 of 26 this year, including 24 straight.
· The Cowboys rank 30th in the NFL in red-zone scoring, getting just 13 touchdowns in 32 attempts (40.6 percent).
· The Cowboys are now seventh in the NFL in turnover margin, with a +6 difference.