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Who's calling the plays?

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JJT of the DMN tells us that the Cowboys will be utilizing a play calling by committee approach this season with Parcells having the final say of course. It goes something like this.

 So who decides whether it's a run or pass?

"We decide if it's a pass or a run," Parcells said.

So does Sparano call the running plays and Haley the passing plays?

"No," Parcells said.

So who is Bledsoe listening to during the 25 seconds the coaching staff can speak with him on the wireless communication system?

"Todd calls the play in, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the play-caller," Parcells said. "That's the one voice. I can flip into that if I want to, but I don't."

So many people involved in the process sounds like a recipe for confusion.

"It's not confusing at all because certain people are told to shut up," Parcells said.

Man, you got to love Parcells and his no nonsense approach. I wonder who the Tuna is telling to shut up? My guess is Todd Haley judging from the Seattle game last season. JJT actually breaks down exactly how each play evolves from the time the line of scrimmage is set until the ball is snapped. I think it's pretty interesting.

 Here's what happens between the time the ball is spotted at the line of scrimmage and the ball is snapped. The play is usually decided upon while the ball is being spotted:
  • Passing game coordinator Todd Haley uses a wireless communication system to give quarterback Drew Bledsoe a play number. Normally, he repeats it twice.
  • Haley gives the personnel group - Detroit means the base offense of two receivers, two tight ends and one back - and a quick tip like, "Watch out for the free safety" or "Look for the strongside blitz."
  • Bledsoe looks at a wristband with 70-75 plays and finds the number, which tells him the play. Plays are divided into 2-minute, runs, drop-back passes, third down, inside the 20 and short yardage.
  • Bledsoe delivers the play in the huddle, usually saying it just once, and the team breaks the huddle and gets aligned at 20 seconds.
  • The NFL cuts off communication with the sideline at 15 seconds. Bledsoe is at the line of scrimmage getting a pre-snap read that will probably tell him where he's going to go with the ball on a passing play. He watches the middle linebacker for clues about the defense, tries to identify the pass coverage and starts any motion or shifting. With five seconds left, the ball is snapped.