BTB Mailbag: How Much Does A Play Caller Change Change Things?

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Jerry Jones says that Jason Garrett was relieved of the mandate to call the offensive plays. If so, what does that leave him to do on gamedays?

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On to this post's question!

If Garrett relinquishes OC duties to Callahan—or someone else—how much input will he still have in the way the offense is run? It’s obvious Kiffin will have complete control over the defense, but will Garrett’s contributions to the team be limited to strictly HC responsibilities? – Hawkeye101

Archie: Jason Garrett comes from an offensive background and as long as he is the head coach he will always have some input on the offensive system in Dallas. While he may not be calling the plays, this is still going to be the same Air Coryell type of offense that attacks with the passing game. Garrett has the potential to become a great head coach who oversees the big picture. For a young head coach, he's really tried to do too much and put a lot on his plate. By taking a step back from calling the plays, it allows him to become more of the leader and organizer this team needs.

KD: In my opinion, there's no way that this offense would ever not be Garrett's. The thing we have to remember though is that Callahan already has an impact. The offensive line employs Callahan's preference of zone-blocking in addition to man-on-man. That changes a lot about how an offense functions. I think that had a lot to do with the failure of the run game this past season. The implementation with 5 new starting positions plus the injuries throughout camp spelled doom. The fact that Dallas didn't scrap Callahan leads me to believe they do trust in the hybrid blocking scheme.

Regardless though, the vertical passing game of the Dallas Cowboys works (at a higher rate between the 20s), and that's Garrett's baby. The coaches have stressed (whether it be just "being PC" talk or not, is for you to decide) how much they all have a part in the scripting of the plays on the gameplan; there's no reason for that to change. Calling the actual plays in a game is only a small part of how effective an offense is. I also don't believe that when the game is on the line, Garrett isn't chiming in with his preference from his playbook.

Now, with all that said, I do have some trepidation about how well that will work in crucial, late game, quick-react situations. Will giving away the duties to someone else prevent some of the missteps we've seen in the past, or make it more difficult? Only time will tell.

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