Good for Jason Garrett. The Dallas Cowboys head coach needed to come out and clarify the play-calling situation.
Garrett went to the podium Tuesday afternoon, was asked by ESPNDallas.com’s Todd Archer to explain what was happening the play calling – something Jerry Jones had already let slip last week – and he launched into a play-by-play of what happened.
You can decide how much of Garrett’s explanation you believe. But I’m buying most of it.
Garrett needed to take the leadership position and explain the situation. No, I don’t mean that he “owed” that explanation to the media or fans. What matters most is what the players in that locker room think.
And that’s why I think Garrett needed to do this on Tuesday. That entire room knows Bill Callahan is calling plays. They’ve probably known it for months. Why risk players wondering what in the world their head coach is thinking by not confirming what everyone – players, fans and media – now know thanks to Jones and Callahan last week?
Garrett said it was a “collective decision” back in January, which coincides with Jones bringing up the idea of changing playcallers when he talked to some media folks at the Senior Bowl. Does “collective decision” mean Jerry forced Garrett to make changes? Possibly. We can debate whether that was the truth.
But Garrett needed to step up, say it was a decision made by the organization for the best of the organization and move forward. Garrett did that on Tuesday. He didn’t hedge anything in regards to what Callahan was doing, either, saying he has “full” responsibility for playcalling. They’ll talk as a staff during the week, but on game day, Callahan (with some major help from Tony Romo now) will make the calls.
This should make Garrett a better head coach. He can spend time worrying about clock management and can spend practice time taking everything in, rather than focusing solely on what’s happening with his offensive unit.
Jones screwed all of this up by saying what he did last week. Garrett was able to take part of that message back and focus on moving forward by explaining how things will work. He even took responsibility for the communication breakdown, a smart move because that’s one part of the conference that no one will buy. He can fall on the sword and not hurt himself at all.
Garrett should have grabbed this message months ago. But at least he grabbed it now. He said what he needed to say. Good for him.