Three weeks in the past, you could not pay followers of both crew to care concerning the Week 17 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. It is out of the blue turn into a sizzling ticket within the slate of normal season finales although, and for a myriad of causes. Not solely are each groups one win plus a Washington Soccer Staff loss away from stealing the NFC East crown, by advantage of the Cowboys having gained three straight whereas the Giants tailspun into three consecutive losses to place themselves eye-to-eye with Dallas, however there’s additionally the Kellen Moore-Jason Garrett dynamic — one which carries exponentially extra which means than it did in Week 5.
It is a mentee vs. mentor conflict throughout a time when , and but should additionally stay laser-focused on making an attempt to defeat the previous on Jan. 3, which might be full the season sweep and finish Garrett’s inaugural season with Large Blue within the course of, additionally making himself that rather more enticing to Boise State within the course of. Contrarily, Garrett is in search of payback for the Giants loss on Oct. 11 to Moore and Co. and, if he will get it, he’ll finish the Cowboys playoff hopes in Yr 1 because the offensive coordinator in New York — following an oddly off-putting divorce in Dallas this previous January that left him with a bitter style in his mouth.
And so, for as a lot as Garrett adores the Cowboys as a company, he desires to be the brick wall his successor runs headfirst into on Sunday, however his successor is supplied with an offensive soccer thoughts Garrett helped mould.
However wait, there’s extra sauce on this spaghetti noodle.
It was Garrett who employed Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator in Dallas, and Linehan’s ties to Moore from their days along with the Detroit Lions — the Lions having signed Moore out of undrafted free company in 2012 when Linehan was offensive coordinator –drove the signing of Moore because the Cowboys backup quarterback in 2015, and stored him round for 3 seasons regardless of a mixture of poor play and sturdiness points. Moore would retire from soccer following the 2017 season, however Garrett gave the inexperienced mild to call him quarterbacks coach and, one 12 months later, offensive coordinator within the wake of parting methods with the exact same Linehan liable for Moore being in Dallas within the first place.
His fast, three-year development from participant to one of the vital proficient coordinators within the league is one that may’ve put him in line to finally exchange Garrett as properly, if he had extra expertise earlier than it got here time for Garrett’s bell to toll in North Texas.
The 2 don’t have anything however love and respect for each other although, and Moore’s admiration of Garrett continues to this present day and can for a lot of days into the longer term, however the poignancy and leveled which means of their Week 17 matchup is staggering. Garrett failed in his first try for revenge in Week 5, and his second try is loaded much more motivation. The mentor would not need to go 0-2 towards the mentee, particularly contemplating the 2 would possibly by no means once more get an opportunity to sq. off on the NFL degree (ought to Moore settle for the job at Boise State), nor does he need head coach Mike McCarthy to finest him twice — seemingly proving to the Joneses they made the proper resolution 11 months in the past and, contrarily, that the Giants may not have.
For Moore and Garrett, it is not merely a win-and-you-might-get-in recreation this weekend, and there is no scarcity of handicap on both aspect — seeing as a number of key gamers are absent (particularly for the Cowboys). It is a longstanding friendship turned enterprise rivalry between two hyper-competitive coaches that can form the division with one last gasp of air, simply as 2020 meant all alongside.
It is scholar versus trainer, spherical two. Ring the college bell.