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Football World Reacts To Surprising Jason Garrett Report

Jason Garrett

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has reportedly emerged as a finalist to take over for David Shaw at Stanford.

This year's iteration of the coaching carousel in college football has seen some surprising hires, such as Luke Fickell leaving Cincinnati for Wisconsin and Scott Satterfield bailing on Louisville to replace him.

But if this report comes to fruition, it would easily take the cake as the most unexpected match of the year.

Stewart Mandel of the Athletic reported Thursday that former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has emerged as a finalist for the Stanford job. Longtime Stanford coach David Shaw stepped down from his post on Nov. 27.

Garrett, who has spent this fall as the color analyst for NBC's Notre Dame football broadcasts and as a studio analyst during Sunday Night Football, was solid as the head coach of the Cowboys, amassing a record of 85-67 and leading the team to three playoff appearances in 10 seasons.

However, he would seem like a strange fit at Stanford considering he has never coached at the college level. 

Garrett, who played his college football at Princeton, did interview for the head coaching vacancy at Duke a year ago, but the Blue Devils ultimately hired Mike Elko instead.

Garrett's coaching stock is not exactly at its highest right now, as he was fired midway through last season, his second as the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants.

"Jason Garrett has literally never coached in college before," Rodger Sherman of the Ringer tweeted, "but on the plus side, he just got fired from a stint as OC of the 31st-best offense in the NFL."

Fans seem to have already made up their mind that he would not be a successful hire at Stanford, as they have been mocking Mandel's report en masse on social media.

"Thought Stanford was supposed to be smart?" one tweeted. "Who in their right mind was like 'yeah ol Jason Garrett is ready to hit the recruiting trail and grind it out.'"

It's hard to argue with those who view Garrett as an unusual fit at Stanford.

That said, the Cardinal probably need to make an outside-the-box hire in order to reinvigorate their program.

Stanford represents a unique challenge within the college football landscape, as the school's academic requirements limit the players that the football team can recruit and, probably more impactful, makes it difficult to accept transfers. 

Stanford's struggles coincided with the transfer boom in college football. The Cardinal have won four games or fewer in each of the past four seasons after winning eight or more 10 years in a row.

RJ Ochoa of Blogging The Boys, who covered Garrett during his tenure with the Cowboys, believes Garrett could actually succeed at Stanford thanks to his ability to build a build a strong culture.

"It is too much work for some people to look past the low-hanging fruit jokes about Jason Garrett, but he is incredible at building culture and structure," Ochoa tweeted. "He would do so well at Stanford. Many have long thought he would succeed at the collegiate level. Rooting for him."

Stanford's hire of Garrett appears to be far from a done deal. According to Mandel's report, the school has narrowed its search to a group of finalists that also includes Sacramento State coach Troy Taylor.

But it's already clear that, if Garrett does make his college coaching debut at Stanford, he will have plenty of doubters to prove wrong.