Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Sunday, December 8, 2013
Bill Callahan talks about the tweak

By Calvin Watkins

IRVING, Texas -- The coaching move heard around the world, or at least Valley Ranch, involved quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson moving from the sidelines to the press box to assist play caller Bill Callahan in reading defenses quicker.

Callahan
Or better.

Callahan didn't think it was a big deal and said the move even helped veteran tight end Jason Witten improve his communication with Wes Phillips, the Cowboys' tight ends coach who moved down from the press box to the field.

"We just tweaked," Callahan said of the change that went in two games ago. "Coach went up there and just really gave us another set of eyes. It allows us, when you look at the value of the move, the value of Wes going downstairs and being with Wit. I don’t think Wit has had a guy down there in the last two years anyhow, the position coach hasn’t been, so I think that communication has really worked well in our favor."

What also helps Callahan is Wilson's ability as a former NFL quarterback, to slow down a fast-paced game. At times, after Callahan calls a play, he needs to come up with the next play quickly depending on how fast the previous play went.

Wilson is good at helping him decide what to call based on what the defense might show on a particular down and distance.

"Nobody can do it all by themselves," Callahan said, who also noted he talks with head coach Jason Garrett during the game. "It’s really a benefit to have experience and have knowledge and have guys who understand the game and can see it and can get to some quick answers for you. I don’t think any guy who I’ve ever been around can just do it on his own. Maybe some guys can. I think getting information, accessing that information and then turn it into all those positive things, whether it’s a decision or some ideas or suggestions, because the plays go fast. By the time you call one play (snaps fingers), that play is gone and then you’re down on your sheet again. You’re looking, so you really don’t have time to sit there and really digest what just happened sometimes because you’re moving rapidly onto your next progression of thoughts and you’re trying to get it out there as fast as you can."