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The idea of Jason Garrett not calling the plays on game day has been kicked-around for a while. It seems the Cowboys have finally made a decision, partially.
Having Jason Garrett relinquish the game day play-calling duties has finally happened. Jerry Jones entertained the media with a Q&A at the Senior Bowl where he announced that someone besides Garrett will be the play-caller. Who that someone is hasn't been finalized yet, but signs point to offensive line coach Bill Callahan.
When it comes to play-calling with the Dallas Cowboys, it seems coach Jason Garrett is now willing to relinquish that duty. Owner Jerry Jones, speaking at the Senior Bowl workouts, said Garrett won't be calling plays next season for Dallas and the coach was the main influence behind the change. Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will likely take over the play-calling duties. However, following through on his promise of change this off-season, Jones might go outside Valley Ranch and add another assistant with those duties.
I actually welcome this move and I'm not overly concerned about who instituted it - Jason Garrett or Jerry Jones. Mainly, I think Garrett has had some issues with doing everything a coach needs to do on the sideline during games, and that's led to some sloppy moments. Clock-management decisions, time-outs, getting subs on and off the field, all these things have plagued the Cowboys over the last few years. With Garrett's responsibility freed-up from having to call the plays, he may be able to manage these aspects better.
And to this point I trust Callahan, a very experienced NFL vet, to implement the game plan as Garrett designs during the week. I wouldn't expect too much deviation from the offensive game plans and schemes Dallas is currently running. Of course, who made the decision about this change will always be discussed - so let's hear from Jerry and Jason.
Garrett, speaking earlier Tuesday before Jones indicated that the Cowboys would have a new offensive play-caller, said he would be comfortable with Bill Callahan handling the play-calling next season. Garrett and Callahan arrived Tuesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium walking side-by-side as they made their way into the stands to watch the first Senior Bowl practice. Garrett said that he and Jones have had several conversations about the team’s play-calling duties since the end of the season.
"I’ve never been a guy where it’s been hell or high water that I’m going to call the plays," Garrett said. "It gives you the opportunity to step back a little bit and engage in the other two aspects. Obviously, my role as the head coach, if I’m not the play-caller, will be significant".
"It's not a step back for Jason. It's actually a step forward for Jason in my mind," Jones said. "Make no mistake about it, when I hired Jason to come into the organization as a coach he was hired specifically for his skills for his abilities to call the plays. When he became the head coach, it was at my insistence that he continue to call the plays. It was not at Jason's insistence. It is not a step back for the Cowboys or a step back individually for him to change the way we basically are putting our game plan together or are calling the plays on the offensive side of the ball. As you well know, differencies in opinion can frankly be a step in a better direction.
"Rest assured, this would not be being done if our head coach Jason Garrett was not absolutely all in."