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Old 12-31-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
LambertIsGod58
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Default Shanahan a perfect fit for Dallas?

Case for Shanahan sporting a Cowboys hat
By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
Dec 30, 11:43 pm EST

Buzz up!264 votes PrintRelated Video Scariest playoff teams Scariest playoff teams


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Immediately before Mike Shanahan turned the Denver Broncos into back-to-back Super Bowl champions in the late 1990s and then proceeded to spend 14 years nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Broncos were coached by a laid-back, good-natured man who had made his reputation as a strong defensive coordinator.

Once again, Wade Phillips should be worried.

With Shanahan hitting the streets Tuesday after Broncos owner Pat Bowlen fired him, you have to think that the ears of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones perked up more than the year he had plastic surgery.

Word around the NFL is that Shanahan will have another job soon and might have set up something before Bowlen dropped the axe. The Rocky Mountain News reported that Shanahan forced Bowlen’s hand by refusing to fire defensive coordinator Bob Slowik.

It’s odd given that Shanahan has treated defensive coordinators like Kleenex in recent years (three in the past three seasons) and lends credence to the notion that Shanahan has another option.

Meanwhile, Jones has told anyone who will listen that he’s not changing coaches. He has said it more than once, including before the end of the season and again after it. Furthermore, neither of the other high-priced coaches on the market, Bill Cowher and Mike Holmgren, fit for Jones and the Cowboys.

But it doesn’t take long to realize that Shanahan is a perfect fit for what ails the football team from the other D city that celebrates the ranching life.

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It’s time for Jones to cowboy up and herd in the stray bronco. Or else Jones can sit back and watch hundreds of millions of dollars he has spent on players and the new palace they play in go to waste.

While there are plenty of Shanahan detractors who claim that he has been nothing special since John Elway was his quarterback, those people don’t get the big picture. Here’s a quick list of why Shanahan should be so compelling:

He’s a disciplinarian

In just about every tangible way, Shanahan is the anti-Phillips. Shanahan is uptight and combative, almost to a fault. He doesn’t tolerate fools. In that way, he can rein in the many egos that have run over Phillips. Just as important, Phillips is kidding himself with the idea that he’ll regain control of the locker room.

On Monday, Phillips told Dallas media: “If it means being more demanding, more whatever, I have to get it done.” The follow-up question to that was how Phillips can do that while being true to himself.

“My personality is probably not going to change as much as what you ask them to do … My personality of looking like I’m laid back all the time, that’s not going to change,” Phillips said.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take an MBA from Harvard to understand that it’s hard for any manager to control employees once they know you’re not a tough guy. Phillips can ask for anything he wants. He’s just not going to get it when he really needs it.

Shanahan will. Or he’ll put his foot somewhere way up somebody’s backside until he does.

Shanahan is a larger than life personality

During Jones’ 20 years with the Cowboys, his best success has come with the likes of Jimmy Johnson or Bill Parcells riding herd over the collection of stars that Jones likes to assemble.

Shanahan is cut from the same cloth as Johnson and Parcells, bowing to no one. In Phillips, the Cowboys have a guy who didn’t command as much respect as offensive coordinator Jason Garrett when HBO’s “Hard Knocks” was taping the team in training camp.

Shanahan already has Terrell Owens’ respect

When Owens was on the open market in 2006, the Broncos were the only team that brought him in for a look. That was after Shanahan expressed interest. Ultimately, Shanahan refused to pay the price Owens got from Dallas, but Shanahan at least paid his respect to Owens. That will go a long way with getting Owens to be on the same page as Shanahan. While it might not work over the long term (nothing usually does with Owens), it certainly could work in the next season or two when Dallas needs to win or risk wasting the talent Jones has collected.

Shanahan knows offense

Be it Owens, quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten or whoever, none of them can question Shanahan’s ability to game-plan or call plays. Even with the limited squad Shanahan had to work with this season in Denver, he could run plays and put pressure on opposing teams.

Furthermore, when Shanahan is at his best, he’s a run-first play-caller, and the Cowboys have a run-first team. Armed with backs Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice running behind that big offensive line featuring Flozell Adams and Leonard Davis, Shanahan has a good mix of players to operate his type of game. Yes, the pass blocking is suspect, but Shanahan has the ideas and the tools to cover that up.

Shanahan can’t ask for control over personnel

Unlike Cowher and Holmgren, who both want to buy the groceries, Shanahan can’t do that right now. Shanahan’s biggest problem as a coach was Shanahan the general manager. He botched the draft and self-destructed in free agency. Shanahan also mangled his defense year after year by changing coordinators at the drop of a hat.

In that way, he fits with Jones, who refuses to give up control over personnel. Not that Jones has been brilliant with the draft or free agency (he has yet to win a playoff game since Johnson was picking the players), but there’s no question that the Cowboys are a talented bunch. This is the same team that went 13-3 in 2007 and looked like it could roll to the Super Bowl before being upset by the New York Giants.

In other words, even if Shanahan wanted to be in charge of players, there isn’t much for him to do. Dallas is ready-made to win.

And as Shanahan showed in the late 1990s, he can win with a good team.

Even if he has to run over Phillips to get the gig.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Shanahan a perfect fit for Dallas?

Great read on Shanahan, Lambert - thanks!

Quote:
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take an MBA from Harvard to understand that it’s hard for any manager to control employees once they know you’re not a tough guy. Phillips can ask for anything he wants. He’s just not going to get it when he really needs it.

Shanahan will. Or he’ll put his foot somewhere way up somebody’s backside until he does.
Just what the Cryboys need to bring those over-inflated egos that seem to permeate that team back down to earth.

Wade Phillips is a joke of a HC, imho. He doesn't make a hair on his father's hiney.

Jerry Jones has been known over the years to flip-flop. If he flip-flopped here with regard to his decision to retain the Michelin Man as his HC and canned his fat ass - it would be to his (and the team's) benefit.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shanahan a perfect fit for Dallas?

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Just what the Cryboys need to bring those over-inflated egos that seem to permeate that team back down to earth.
Yep, that's just what they need. Which means it won't happen. Not with jerry jones running that team

shame....

Oh who am I kidding. Suck it cowboys!!
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shanahan a perfect fit for Dallas?

I'm not sure Shanahan is the kind of guy to put up with Jerra. He had that experience of an over bearing owner with Al Davis and I'm not sure he wants to revisit that type of situation.

On paper, he'd be perfect there with the offensive weapons they have in Dallas. But there is so much more to it.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shanahan a perfect fit for Dallas?

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I'm not sure Shanahan is the kind of guy to put up with Jerra. He had that experience of an over bearing owner with Al Davis and I'm not sure he wants to revisit that type of situation.

On paper, he'd be perfect there with the offensive weapons they have in Dallas. But there is so much more to it.
i hate jones as much as the next guy, but i'd never lump him in with al davis.... they both may meddle to much in what should be coaching affairs, but thats where it ends. jones actually does have an eye for talent ( barber, ware,jones, whitten...etc) and actually identifies team needs, where as crazy al, just thinks speed, and a big arm is all it takes to win.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Shanahan a perfect fit for Dallas?

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i hate jones as much as the next guy, but i'd never lump him in with al davis.... they both may meddle to much in what should be coaching affairs, but thats where it ends. jones actually does have an eye for talent ( barber, ware,jones, whitten...etc) and actually identifies team needs, where as crazy al, just thinks speed, and a big arm is all it takes to win.
I'll be the first to admit I don't know alot about Jones......I do know he was totally classless about how he fired the legend, Tom Landry. And I also know that once when Jimmy Johnson was HC in big D, at that year's draft Jones asked Johnson to act is if he was gettting Jones' input when the cameras panned to them. That alone makes me wonder how much talent he has. Picking Switzer as a HC? He rode Jimmy Johnson's eye for talent.......As anyone with a pulse could have won with that Dallas team of the 90's. Then Phillip's? Once again, it was Parcell's who put that franchise back on the map.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Shanahan a perfect fit for Dallas?

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i hate jones as much as the next guy, but i'd never lump him in with al davis.... they both may meddle to much in what should be coaching affairs, but thats where it ends. jones actually does have an eye for talent ( barber, ware,jones, whitten...etc) and actually identifies team needs, where as crazy al, just thinks speed, and a big arm is all it takes to win.
Al Davis is stuck in a time warp. His obsessiion with speed is rooted in the 70's. His ways and obsessions have the Raiders, and us fans, stuck in a nightmare that we can't wake up from. There is only one way the Raiders ever come back to prominence, and everyone knows it... even the ones with the rose colored glasses.

I don't agree that Jones has an eye for talent. He does what Al Davis refuses to do... he hires people that know, and understand football. He has a real team of scouts that he actually listens to. He has personnel people that he actually listens to. He allows his coach to hire his own staff. The only success that Jones can claim as his own is his assembling of good people to do their respective jobs. That is a totaly foreign concept in Oakland.
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