Troy Aikman has adopted a strikingly contrarian viewpoint on the Dallas Cowboys‘ hierarchy and its underlying flaws.
Whereas most blame coach Jason Garrett for squandering a championship-level roster, the legendary quarterback puts the onus squarely on owner Jerry Jones, the common denominator from Dallas’ glory days to its present-day reputation as a middling club — a span of nearly three decades, long preceding Garrett.
“I’m not worried about Jason Garrett. He’ll be just fine, and I think he’s proven the quality of the person he is and also the way he is as a head coach,” he said, per NBCDFW.com. “There’s a lot to this job, there’s a lot to have to overcome. It’s not run traditionally the way most other organizations are. I think that’s to the detriment of the Cowboys.”
“I don’t think you can look at three playoff wins in the last 25 years and surmise that all of the problems over that time have been a result of coaching,” he said. “I think you have to look at the top, and say, ‘how we are doing it from the top’? I think businesses do that. I think organizations, I think anyone worth their salt evaluate it from the top down. And just simply changing the coaching, you know, I don’t know if the results would be all that much different.”
Aikman is a personal friend and former teammate of Garrett’s. The last time the Cowboys won anything, No. 8 was under center. That, Aikman believes, cannot possibly reflect on the team’s head man.
“I think Jason’s a heck of a football coach, and I think he’s done a really nice job here in Dallas,” he said. “And I think this is a really hard job, the hardest job in football, that goes beyond the playing field and what all has to be managed to give your team a chance to have success. I think he’s done that as well as anybody.”
Another country heard from.
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Garrett Emerges as Frontrunner for NFL HC Job
If (when?) he’s cut loose from the Cowboys, Garrett likely won’t be out of work for long. The beleaguered 53-year-old is considered a frontrunner to fill the Carolina Panthers‘ head-coaching opening, which became available Tuesday when Carolina abruptly fired Ron Rivera.
Vegas sportsbook BetOnline.ag gives Garrett the second-best odds (5/1) to replace Rivera in 2020, behind only current Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh (5/1). Other listed favorites include Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (11/2), Falcons HC Dan Quinn (6/1), and former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer (6/1).
Garrett, in the final year of his 2015 five-year extension, has compiled an 83-65 regular-season record and 2-3 postseason mark across 10 seasons at the helm of the Cowboys’ operation.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL