- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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We left for the Senior Bowl on Monday in search of answers.
All we got from Dallas Cowboys officials was confusion.
What we do know is that Jerry Jones has hinted that Jason Garrett won't call plays in 2013. Jones didn't say who would call plays, but all indications are that offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will take over those duties.
It would appear to be a step back for Garrett, but Jones has tried spin the situation so that it doesn't look like a demotion for his head coach. Jones' preference to have a "walk-around" coach represents a change in thinking. It was just a few months ago that Jones shared a story of how former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said it was best for a head coach to call plays on either the offense or defense. That way, Gibbs said, it gives the appearance the coach had a hand in a victory or defeat.
Jones hired head coaches Chan Gailey, Wade Phillips and Garrett under this model. Now it seems he is switching gears. Jones points out that Garrett will still have a hand in the day-to-day operations of the football team. Well, that's fine and good, but he's always had that.
Garrett has two years remaining on his contract, and if this whole thing doesn't work out with him in 2013 it's clear he won't get another year to fix it. Jones clearly appears to be taking more power away from Garrett by the day.
Garrett, however, has still been involved in the interview process for offensive coaches. The Cowboys need a running backs coach and tight ends coach and most likely a wide receivers coach. Garrett conducted interviews at the Senior Bowl, ducking out after watching a few moments of practices to greet coaches.
Then, of course, there's the issue of Rob Ryan's dismissal. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram had a report that Garrett said the defensive coordinator was let go because his unit didn't create enough turnovers. The Dallas Morning News countered that Garrett's comments about Ryan were taken out of context.
A few weeks ago, Jones said on KRLD-FM that part of the reason he let Ryan go was because of losses at Seattle and against Chicago, games he felt the defense didn't do its part.
Wait, there's more.
Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson wasn't with the team in Mobile. Jones said Robinson is still on staff but that something might change with his status. What could that be? It might be a personal issue that allows Robinson to leave the day-to-day operations of working with Garrett. Nothing has been resolved here.
The other hot topic was Jay Ratliff's arrest early Tuesday morning for allegedly driving while intoxicated in Grapevine, Texas.
Jones talked with reporters at around noon Tuesday and was asked about a tiff he had with Ratliff and if that would have any bearing on his status with the team. Jones indicated it didn't and compared it to father and son having a typical argument.
Did Jones know about Ratliff's arrest when speaking with reporters in Mobile? We don't know. Saying he forgave Ratliff for a heated argument the two had during the season is one thing. Can Jones forgive Ratliff for getting arrested, too?
There are plenty of questions hanging around Valley Ranch. Hopefully in the next few days we can get some answers.