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Colorless Garrett colors himself blameless, too. He'd better Cowboy up

Does the head coach of "America's Team" have a duty to at least be interesting -- if not flat-out colorful?

At the very least should he take responsibility for his actions when a sequence of clock management brain freezes ends up snatching defeat from victory in Sunday's 19-13 overtime loss to Arizona?

Well, no one can accuse Jason Garrett of being interesting. And after Monday's mind-numbing "I don't have a great answer for you on that" press conference, no one can accuse him of being a standup guy either.

During the Tuesday edition of his regular mid-morning show on "The Ticket" (1310 AM), Norm Hitzges repeatedly and emphatically noted that Garrett gives the media "NOTHING!" of any real substance or worth. And when you're looking for story hooks or interest-generating quotes, there's nothing worse than a thoroughly dull, cliche-spewing coach.

If the Dallas Cowboys were a consistently winning team, perhaps none of this would matter all that much. Garrett could continue being a big bore who never cops to a mistake or gives the media anything to play around with during those long hours at Valley Ranch.

But damn, there's nothing worse than a guy like Garrett when the team continues to be basically mediocre with flashes of brilliance. Fans generally don't rally behind robots, and a Garrett press conference is about as exciting as steamed broccoli for dessert.

Yeah, Tom Landry wasn't exactly a quote machine during his 29 years as the Cowboys peerless head coach. But his generally expressionless sideline demeanor became his own mystique. That and The Hat. And the fact that the Cowboys made the playoffs year after year after year.

That statue of Landry outside Cowboys Stadium still speaks volumes. Garrett is already a statue, with "The Ticket" and other sports radio stations succumbing to his daily press conferences with all the anticipation of a little kid opening Aunt Gertrude's annual Christmas gift -- a pair of dress socks.

As many readers of this site know, I'm a Wisconsin native who grew up spoiled during the Green Bay Packers' Vince Lombardi era. But I've been in Dallas since 1979, long enough to see all of the Cowboys coaches in action.

Jimmy Johnson had The Hair. He also had a colorful blend of arrogance and enthusiasm. His life and times at Valley Ranch were never ever dull.

Barry Switzer was a straight-from-the-shoulder, pistol-packing hoot whose shoulder-punching dust-up with WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen during a live interview remains legendary and unparalleled.

Hansen basically loathed Bill Parcells, whose disdain for the media was on constant display. But that very disdain made his press conferences must-see TV or must-hear radio. Who would he browbeat next? When might he walk out in one of his patented huffs? Good stuff, even if he did come off as a giant a-hole.

Dave Campo at least was excitable on the sidelines. The guy wanted to win so bad. And it always showed. Drawlin' Chan Gailey inspired a running gag on "The Ticket" that had him trapping bobcats outside stadiums just before each game. Wade Phillips was far more accomplished than given credit for, but provided comic relief as owner Jerry Jones' dumpy yes man. Let's not forget he had one great regular season, too.

In contrast, Garrett comes off as a know-it-all Princeton grad who gives the masses nothing. Three-piece charcoal grey wool suits have better personalities. And when the heat's on -- as it certainly is now -- we just don't like those kinds of people. And we certainly don't rally behind them.

Of course a thunderous win against the New York Giants on NBC's national Sunday Night Football stage might serve to re-humanize Garrett. In many ways that's all it takes around here.

Still, he'd better watch out. Because the Cowboys' polar opposite of "The Most Interesting Man in the World" is now playing with fire. Failure to make the playoffs this season -- or a one-and-done ouster in the first round -- will have many fans calling for a new coach who outwardly breathes fire. A coach you can hang your hat on. A guy who exclaims, "How 'bout them Cowboys!" Or at the very least, a leader who admits, "I blew it, and my team has every right to be upset."

Jason Garrett shows no signs at all of being that guy. And it may be too late for him to learn.