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Garrett has control that Phillips never did

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Posted Jan. 06, 2011 @ 7:22 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

One of the more interesting elements of the introductory press conference of Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was the power that owner Jerry Jones apparently will grant him.

One element of that power is the hiring and firing of assistant coaches. The team has some decisions to make as to how to fill out the coaching staff, the most important of which likely will be defensive coordinator, since Garrett will be calling plays on offense.

Jones mentioned that Todd Bowles, a former Cowboys assistant during the Bill Parcells regime who interviewed for the head-coaching vacancy this time around, had an excellent interview. So much so that the Cowboys might want him to run the defense. Currently, Bowles remains on the Dolphins' staff, but for how long? There is increased talk about Tony Sparano getting fired there, and Bowles could emerge as a legitimate candidate for the coordinator's job in Dallas. The Cowboys want him, and Jones didn't appear to hide it.

OL coach Hudson Houck and special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis both have contracts running through the next few seasons and are expected to return. WR coach Ray Sherman, whose deal is up, is a team favorite and he very well could be back, too. Sherman might even earn a raise and a title bump, such as adding assistant head coach (which Bowles also could earn) or offensive coordinator, even if Garrett holds the play-calling sheet on Sundays.

But Jones also added an important element to Garrett's power when he said, "There won't be a player on the team that Jason doesn't want on the team." In essence, Garrett would have final say — or as close to it as Jones will allow — over the 53-man roster and could have increased say in major free-agent and draft decisions.

Wade Phillips, whom Garrett replaced, simply did not possess that degree of authority over either the coaching staff, which Jones picked in 2007, or the players. It's an interesting development in the organization, as Jones typically has maintained major control in these departments. It could show an increased level of trust in Garrett, who has scouting roots, although Jones could reassume that authority down the road.

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