Can Jason Garrett cut loose?

February, 5, 2013
2/05/13
12:10
PM ET
Many of the stories heading into the Super Bowl were about the two "bold moves" the Harbaugh coaching brothers made this season -- Jim's to bench Alex Smith in favor of Colin Kaepernick in Week 11, and John's to change offensive coordinators in the final month of the season with his team already bound for the playoffs.

Jean-Jacques Taylor thinks part of Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett's problem is the inability to think like a Harbaugh:
For Garrett to keep his job as coach of the Dallas Cowboys for more than one more season, he must leave his comfort zone and the conservative approach he's used with the Cowboys and be bold next season. Understand, this ain't about trick plays. Or going for it on fourth down. It's about a mindset that shows his team winning is all that matters.

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Garrett must have the self-confidence and courage to make a bold move when the opportunity presents itself. That's the only way Garrett can remove this once-proud franchise from the muck of mediocrity. Garrett can look to each Super Bowl team for example.

A worthwhile thought, to be sure. While I'm generally in the camp that says you can't expect people to be what they're not, there's a deeper point hidden here. Part of Garrett's evolution as a head coach is and must be the development of his confidence as a decision-maker. The stuff you read and hear about the plays not being relayed to the players from the sideline, etc.? That gets to the question of confidence. Garrett showed improvement as a coach in 2012, but he does not currently exude the kind of head-coach confidence you see from the league's most decorated leaders, and I think that's the issue at which Jacques is hinting here.

It's not that Garrett has to set out to be a bolder coach or make more dangerous decisions. It's that Garrett has to develop into a confident enough head coach that he's inclined to make such a decision when the opportunity presents itself. To this point, we have not seen that with Garrett, and the question of whether we ever will could determine how long he gets the chance to coach in Dallas.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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