FRISCO - The Jones family's long-time support of embattled coach Jason Garrett is justified, says former ESPN analyst and Super Bowl-winning QB Trent Dilfer, because the Dallas Cowboys' top guy "is an incredible leader. In fact, if the Cowboys let him go he'll be the first guy that other teams will try to hire.''
Dilfer, speaking recently on 105.3 The Fan's "Shan and RJ,'' insists that Garrett is "incredibly respected, both with owners, general managers, and other coaches around the league."
It is the stated opinion of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that an unemployed Garrett would be "very sought-after" if he were on the unemployment line. We've always known, of course, that the New York Giants ownership thinks highly of Garrett. And we've argued in this space that while there are no guarantees of who lands where in the offseason game of Musical Chairs, vacancies in places like New York, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Carolina would surely lead to multiple interviews for Garrett ... that he would likely interview well ... and that while finishing 8-8 marks a poor showing in Dallas, it would mean a step up for some downtrodden franchises.
Garrett is in the final year of his contract and coaching for his job today against the visiting Redskins. He and the 7-8 Cowboys botched a chance to seal a division title and playoff berth with an awful showing last weekend in Philly, a 17-9 loss that Jones admitted stunned him.
We've reported that Garrett needs "premium success in the playoffs'' to be considered for retention, and that Garrett himself might even welcome the change that now seems inevitable here in Big D.
And, according to Dilfer, potential employers will line up to grab him from there.
Garrett, Dilfer declared, would be "the No. 1 candidate from Day One" if available. "He's a hell of a football coach. He's an incredibly good leader ... admired and revered around the NFL."