Jan 102011
 

"Go long, Coach."

First, Jerry Jones interviewed Cowboys receivers coach Ray Sherman for the position of head coach. Then, Jason Garrett was named head coach. Now, Ray Sherman is unemployed.

In other words, either Jason Garrett or Jerry Jones has fired Ray Sherman.

Yesterday, Twitter was alive with incredulous sportswriters and sportscasters blasting the move.

Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News tweeted, “Interesting. Ray Sherman is qualified enough to interview for HC job, but not good enough to remain on the staff. Hmmmm.”

Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill, Jr. tweeted, “Ray Sherman played nice with the Cowboys by being the Rooney Rule candidate. They repay him by not renewing his contract.”

Newy Scrugg, sports anchor for NBC 5 in Dallas/Fort Worth, jumped on the Twitter dogpile with this: “Check the resume of Sherman as a WR coach. HOF’s swear by him.”

Calvin Watkins, of the Dallas Morning News, rather succinctly tweeted (succinctly is a must when tweeting), “But letting Sherman go is a mistake that must be fixed quickly.”

Each of these writers has Sherman’s skin color in common and may well be feeling the sting of a slap, whether real or supposed, via Jerry’s using Sherman to satisfy the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which states that a NFL team must interview a minority candidate before making a hire for the position of head coach, right before showing him the door.

That is understandable.

I do not think Jerry Jones is that heartless. Not many former employees have had anything but good to say about Jerry as a boss. He has certainly never been accused of mistreating anyone based on a racial issue.

Nor do I think Jerry set out to use or humiliate Ray Sherman.

In fact, I view the Sherman release as a positive thing for one very big reason: It appears that new head coach Jason Garrett does actually have control of the coaching staff.

This has all the markings of a Garrett move. The new coach intends to put his guys in key roles on this coaching staff. He has that responsibility and that right. It is, after all, Garrett’s red head on the chopping block now. He will be the man in the media’s crosshairs whenever things do not go well. His will be the copper top the fans call on Jerry to lop off if losses pile up.It is only reasonable that he be given the authority and leeway to surround himself with his people.

Why is Ray Sherman not a Garrett guy? I do not know. It could go back to the whole Terrell Owens spat with Jason Witten and Tony Romo, when Owens used Sherman as a sounding board while throwing Garrett under the team bus, accusing him of playing favorites. Or, it could be Sherman’s failure to get anything out of Roy Williams, who came to the Cowboys at such a high cost. Or, Miles Austin’s drop off in production after signing the big contract.

Who knows?

Whatever the case, Ray Sherman is and has been touted as a great coach. He must be given some credit for the emergence of Miles Austin and the production of Dez Bryant. He has also been a buffer between Prima Donna receivers and the higher-ups on the coaching staff. For the most part, Sherman kept egos in check and coached a very productive unit.

Gerry Fraley, of the Dallas Morning News, writes:

The Cowboys had a wide receiver with more than 1,000 yards in each of Sherman’s four seasons, with Terrell Owens and Miles Austin accomplishing the feat twice. Sherman helped Austin grow into a Pro Bowl receiver and also served as a mentor this season to rookie Dez Bryant, who had 45 catches for 561 yards and six touchdowns despite missing the final four games because of a fractured right fibula.

Calvin Watkins wrote on ESPN.com:

It’s clear Garrett wants his own guys on the staff — Sherman was hired when Wade Phillips was the coach — and that’s his right.

But letting Sherman go is a mistake that must be fixed quickly.

There were too many times during the season where players were upset about the offense and vented to Sherman.

Sure, Sherman will be missed, but it is rather funny the way media types double talk. If Garrett kept the current staff intact, he would be accused of having no power to effect change. If he makes a change, he is accused of getting rid of the wrong guy.

Maybe Mike Ditka was right when he quipped, β€œWhat’s the difference between a newborn puppy and a sportswriter? In six weeks, the puppy stops whining.”

When a new head coach comes to town, you have to expect him to put his stamp on the team. When a new head coach was already in town, you still have to afford him that opportunity. After saddling Wade Phillips with Jason Garrett by hiring Garrett first and after pretty much forcing Jimmy Johnson’s staff on Barry Switzer all those years ago, maybe, just maybe, Jerry Jones has learned his lesson.

I like the firing of Ray Sherman, not because I dislike Sherman or think he did a poor job, but because it seems to indicate that Jason Garrett does actually have some authority. That is a good thing.

Now, it is on Garrett to do something good with it.

Gene Strother (375 Posts)

Gene has been an avid Dallas Cowboys fan for nearly five decades, which amounts to just about his entire life. The only time he was not a Cowboys fan was that brief period at the beginning of his life, when he didn't have all his baby teeth and could not yet say "Cowboys." As soon as quit slobbering, he started hollering, "Go Cowboys!"


1 comments
Robert
Robert

Why is it the race card is always brought up.Please will people ever get rid of the race card.I see it all the time. Sherman I am sure is a good coach but I don't think he will fit in with the Garrett reign. Have to look at all the droped balls and miss catches. To me it's all in the coaching. Yes they are pros but it still is in the coaching. I think it was a smat move by Garrett and time will tell. I know Sherman will land a good job and again he is a good coach but it was time for him to leave Dallas.