Commentary

Jerry Jones didn't do his homework

Jerry Jones didn't do his due diligence before hiring Jason Garrett

Updated: January 7, 2011, 1:54 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

Standing just a few feet from the man he just hired as the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones talked about how Jason Garrett has a great thought process in everything he does.

Jones said Garrett writes things out on paper to explain why he's doing things: Why he practices this way ... why he likes this player ... why he doesn't like that player.

Jones said it eventually makes sense to him.

If that's the case, Jones should have done this in the hiring process, because he didn't do enough.

Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones
AP Photo/LM OteroOwner Jerry Jones was in such a hurry to hire Jason Garrett as head coach that he missed out on an opportunity to pick the brains of other potential candidates and get their opinions on how to improve the Dallas Cowboys.

This isn't about the legitimacy of the Rooney Rule, or the people the Cowboys talked to about their vacancy. It's about the process.

Two interviews?!?!

Garrett deserves the job, much like Leslie Frazier does with the Minnesota Vikings. But the Cowboys should've spoken -- and listened -- to more candidates about their vision for the team.

"We were just pretty confident, when you take [everything] into account, Jason was our guy when it was all said and done," executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "We enjoyed our interviews, and [Ray Sherman and Todd Bowles] both did outstanding jobs and are fabulous coaches in their own right. We really believe Jason is our man."

Of course, there was a risk of losing Garrett by talking to more candidates. Two NFL teams inquired about his availability, and that might've scared Jerry Jones a little bit.

"I was getting calls from other clubs wanting to know if they could interview with him for head coach, just to let you know," Jones said. "From significant ones, the ones you're reading about right now. So I know what a top-flight coach we've got here."

There is nothing wrong with letting Garrett talk to other teams as long as you're trying to improve your own team.

It can't possibly be bad to speak with John Fox, Hue Jackson, Perry Fewell, John Harbaugh or even Rob Ryan.

Just talk to them. See what they have to say.

Does Jackson, the Oakland Raiders' offensive coordinator, have an idea how to get the ball more to Miles Austin? What are Ryan's thoughts on fixing the defense?

After the regular season ended, Jones said he wanted to make things happen quickly. He could have interviewed Fox on Monday and Jackson on Tuesday. Instead he conducted his first interview with Sherman on Tuesday.

Fox knew he wasn't going to be the head coach in Carolina for more than a week. He had enough time to prepare for an interview with the Cowboys.

If Jones didn't like what he heard from the other candidates, then hire Garrett.

If Garrett leaves you for another job, then he wasn't your guy anyway.

But Garrett wanted to be here, and he said so after the regular-season victory against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The big thing for the Cowboys was to go through the process.

There was nothing wrong with Bowles and Sherman, who were impressive in their interviews. But the Cowboys had to make sure they weren't missing out on anybody else.

Jones respects Garrett so much that he's giving him final say on the assistant coaches and personnel. He could've done the same thing with somebody else, if only he would've talked to them.

Jones didn't do that.

Garrett is the right choice, but Jones needed to talk to others.

He hurried to get his man.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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