Irvin: Keeping Garrett Was "Right Thing" To Do

Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin talks about the future of the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett, Jerry Jones, Dez Bryant, Miami Hurricanes football and more

Tiki and Tierney
July 11, 2018 - 5:06 pm
NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

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Who says it’s too early to start talking about football season?

Although “fútbol” in the FIFA World Cup has been consuming the headlines lately, the return of American football is just less than two months away. With fall training camps just around the corner, three-time Super Bowl champion and Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin called on CBS Sports Radio to preview the upcoming seasons for two of his old football teams. Having played 12 years professionally for the Dallas Cowboys and three years collegiately at Miami (FL), Irvin built extreme personal connections with both football entities, and those established relationships have continued to this day.

One of those connections include former teammate and current Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.

“Jason Garrett is one of my closest friends,” Irvin said on Tiki and Tierney. “In all the time that we played, all of my (workouts) were with Coach Garrett, so we got real close over the years. When he took over for Wade (Phillips) with Jerry (Jones), he took a tough team to transition with, but he did well and earned it. This has been a journey when you look at Coach Garrett’s past and the route he’s taken to get to this position.”

Garrett failed to make the playoffs for the fifth time in eight seasons last year and enters 2018 on the proverbial hot seat. Irvin, though, believes Garrett deserves a pass for last year, as the drama surrounding Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension consumed the season. Irvin felt it was important to bring the entire team back for at least one more year – so much so that he even tried to persuade Cowboys leadership to keep Dez Bryant.

While the Cowboys parted ways with Bryant, they kept Garrett.

“I do believe him staying on the job right now, with what happened last year, is the right thing, especially with everything that was hanging over the football team and trying to keep that team together,” Irvin said. “I think what they believe is they found a nucleus of a great team and a great unit for the next eight or nine years. They want to make sure that they squeeze as much as they can out of that young nucleus like Dak, Zeke, Jaylon Smith, this young offensive line, and all of those guys. They said, ‘Okay, we’re not going to throw away last year because you got to learn as much as you can, but without Ezekiel Elliot and you miss the playoffs by one game, let’s roll it up and go again. Now let me be honest. Me, Coach Garrett, and (owner Jerry Jones), we were at the (NFL) combine and we got into a real deep conversation with (Executive Vice President, CEO  and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones) about Dez Bryant, and I was saying to them, ‘Let’s do what we’re talking about. Let’s roll them up and go one more year.’ I was campaigning to keep (Bryant), and it just did not work out. I thought I made headway on it, but something must have happened from February, when we left the combine, to the time that they let Dez go, and I don’t know what that was.”

As for college football, Irvin, a former two-time All-American, is ecstatic to see the Hurricanes competing for conference titles again. He believes that Miami is only a quarterback away from taking it to the next level.

“I think Coach Richt has done a great job in getting Miami into the position,” Irvin said. “We made huge strides to get in the fight. It’s been so long since we’ve really been in the fight. I’m not saying national championship fight; I’m just saying winning ACC championships. They’re looking for a little bit better quarterback play, and they believe that will lift this team to the next level. I like (Malik) Rosier. I love his ability to run. I mean, they want better passing out of him, but I know they like the young guys that they have who are pushing him for that spot.”