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Jason Garret is the OC, Tony Sparano asst. head coach

The Cowboys named Jason Garrett offensive coordinator and retained Tony Sparano - actually they extended his contract.

As expected all along, the Cowboys officially named Jason Garrett the offensive coordinator on Tuesday and named Tony Sparano assistant head coach.

In doing so, the Cowboys also gave Sparano a two-year extension that keeps him under contract through at least the 2009 season. Sparano, who spent last year as the team's running game coordinator/offensive line coach, will continue to direct the offensive line as well.

I like it. I argued yesterday it would be a mistake to not keep Sparano and not only did they keep him, they rewarded him with more security, money and a spiffy title. Nice payback for a coach who did a great job last year.

"Tony's past performance with the organization and the respect that he has from our players made this an easy decision," Phillips said. "His contract commitment will provide stability for our staff for a long time, and that was also an important factor in this decision."

Still undecided, who calls the plays.

While both Sparano and Garrett figure to have major roles in the structure and organization of the offense, Phillips said he has not decided who will call the plays next season.

"We're not going to get into that right now," Phillips said. "We're setting up everything for the season. Actually, they just started working on the formations - what formations we're going to be in. It'll be a little while before we proceed there."

Phillips thinks Garrett has that special something.

"Just about all the good ones have been the same. In my experience in the league, guys that are really good, you can recognize them pretty quickly. I think he is one of those guys. It took me five years to be a coordinator and I did all right. And I think he's certainly ready."

Keeping Sparano was important because we needed a link to the past, so the new coaches could tap into that knowledge.

"That was one great thing about Tony who was so involved in (last year's) offense," Phillip said. "We can gain a lot from what he knows. He knows the players. That was really important for us to keep Tony.

"I named him assistant head coach because he's going to help quite a bit. Probably more than other coaches. That's why he got that title."

Good job Cowboys. Keeping Sparano and signing Andre Gurode makes this a very good day for the Boys.

Hat tip to boysandbosox for posting the news in the comments, and barrypopik has a diary on it here.

Here are the numbers on the Gurode contract.

Two years ago, Andre Gurode wasn't even listed as a center. Now, he's one of richest centers in the NFL.

The Cowboys made sure Gurode never tested the free-agent waters next month by locking him up to a six-year deal Tuesday in the neighborhood of $30 million, including a $10 million signing bonus.

"I was actually a little nervous because I didn't know how this whole thing was going to work out," Gurode said. "I didn't know if the Cowboys were going to wait until free agency started. I was anxious and nervous. I feel very good to get the deal done and come back to the Cowboys."

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