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February 14, 2013

Jason Garrett has ties to Jon Gruden and Bucs, too, which is how three assistants ended up in Dallas

After the Cowboys hired three coaches with Tampa Bay Buccaneers' ties, the dots connected to Jon Gruden. But Jason Garrett also has ties to new assistants Monte Kiffin, Rob Marinelli and Rich Bisaccia, having been a backup quarterback on the Bucs in 2004, his last season playing in the NFL.

That is, Garrett said, how the three coaches came to be on his 2013 Cowboys' staff, Kiffin as the defensive coordinator, Marinelli as the defensive line coach and Bisaccia as the special teams coach. It is the same roles all three had for the Bucs when Garrett was there as a player.

"My last year playing football was that 2004 season," Garrett said. "I had been with the Giants for four years and had come to a point in my career where I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I had some coaching opportunities, but I decided I wanted to play one more season, and I had an opportunity to go down to Tampa Bay. In my mind at that time, I was going to be a football coach. I thought the opportunity to go down to Tampa and be around coach Gruden and the guys on the offensive staff, but also be around Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli and Rich Bisaccia. ...It was a unique opportunity."

The changes to the staff also included a new running backs coach (Gary Brown), a new receivers coach (Derek Dooley), a new assistant offensive line coach (Frank Pollack) and new duties for Wes Phillips, who moves from assistant offensive line coach to tight ends coach.

Garrett said the changes to the coaching staff, which included the departure of his brother John, as "collective decisions."

“One of the great things about this organization since I’ve been here is the communication between me as the head coach and the ownership and the decision-makers is really strong, and it’s always been strong,” Garrett said. “We’ve had great back-and-forth about a lot of the decisions we’ve made. We made a lot of personnel decisions through the years. We’ve made a number of staff decisions through the years, and these were no different.

"A lot of hard conversations to be had about people that you care about who have made a great investment in this organization and our football team, guys that I have loyalty to, guys the Joneses have loyalty to. We’ve had a lot of discussions about coaches and players through the years, and the lines of communication have always been open. My opinions are well-known, Jerry Jones’ opinions, Stephen Jones’ opinions, our coaches’ opinions, they’re all very well-known, and at the end of the day, we made collective decisions that we think are in the best interests of our football team."

-- Charean Williams




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