FRISCO - It's silly and sentimental and, frankly, a bit dysfunctional. But the fact that Jason Garrett is about to be dismissed as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys - but that the dismissal is being delayed - is all about how Jerry Jones functions as this organization's pater familias.
Jerry is the granddad to the players and to many employees. Jerry is the father to Cowboys staffers of Garrett's generation - especially when he's known someone, as he has Garrett, for almost the entirety of his 30-year reign atop "America's Team.''
“I have all the respect in the world for him,'' said Jerry on Sunday night after Dallas completed an 8-8 season that means the end of the 10-year tenure of the "Cowboy for Life'' coach.
And, so, "respect'' means that if during Garrett's Monday "goodbye'' meeting with the Jones family somebody mentioned how wonderful it would be for Jason to make sure he bid a warm farewell not only to every player in traditional "Exit Interviews'' but maybe to experience more lengthy "Exit Interviews,'' maybe to give a playful chest-shove to every player and maybe to give a sincere handshake to every salesman and maybe to give a sincere embrace to every secretary, by God, the pater familias is going to issue his approval.
That's what's happening here, how a Monday Dismissal Meeting turned into what I'm told will be Tuesday Dismissal Meeting Part II.
As my 105.3 The Fan colleague Bryan Broaddus put it so succinctly, "They’re letting him finish his Coaching Duties.''
I don't know which side created the idea. Did Jason ask for more time? Did Jerry offer it? Was there a line of players crowding the hallway in the coach's wing who haven't gotten enough time with "RedBall''? I just know that ironically, the much-circulated and really, malicious Monday noon report that "The Entire Staff Has Been Fired!'' grows increasingly untrue by the minute.
Hell, they haven't even dumped Garrett yet!
There is downside to Jerry overseeing this process in a way that is a bit silly and sentimental dysfunctional; I abhor the Cowboys critics, most of whom have never met Jason or Jerry, who are ripping Dallas management for being "soft'' here, for insisting that the Joneses' hesitation in pulling an inevitable trigger is due to their willingness to accept mediocrity.
That's not it. Starting 30 years ago, I've seen Jerry Jones saddened by a fourth-stringer blowing out his knee. You think Jerry's going to shed real tears over that - for a kid whose name he couldn't pronounce - but somehow block emotion from seeping into his "Long Goodbye'' to a Cowboys lifer?
There is no downside here, unless ...
“That doesn’t concern me,'' said Jerry when we asked him whether delaying Garrett's goodbye might cost him a chance to interview successors. "What other teams are doing, I’m not concerned about from a timing standpoint. They can hire every name you’ve heard, I’m not concerned.”
Now, that's silly and sentimental and potentially harmful. While back channels can allow the Cowboys to be touching base with candidates as you read this, Jerry should be urged to not hold himself to that. And you know what? If the "son'' wants to be as loyal to the "father'' as the father's been to the son?
The person who on Tuesday should tell Jerry Jones to hurry up and say farewell to Jason Garrett should be ... Jason Garrett.