- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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Before the 2013 season, Jason Garrett was told to let go of his play-calling duties. General manager Jerry Jones fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and hired Monte Kiffin, who is past his prime.
But after another 8-8 finish in 2013, Garrett kept his job as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and made a stand.
Change was needed among the offensive coaches, so Garrett discussed things with Jones and a compromise was met: Bill Callahan would get demoted and Scott Linehan would take over calling the offensive plays.
Callahan would be upset, but Garrett pointed out that he expected the veteran coach to be professional and still be the offensive coordinator and offenisve line coach and do an excellent job at both.
Garrett was showing he still had command of the football team despite the fact that he's entering the final year of his contract. Garrett said the business side of things will take over regarding his contract, and that means wins.
Garrett knows he has to reach the playoffs. He's got to win the division and if it takes 10 wins or maybe nine, then that's fantastic.
The playoffs are all that matter to Garrett.
It's the same with Jones, who is making changes to help Garrett maintain command of the team. Jones made changes to the personnel staff, moving Will McClay in to run the draft room with the hope that a different voice will mean new results.
One thing that Garrett never lost is his command of the locker room, no matter what was going on with the team. The players respect and like Garrett. The players liked previous coach Wade Phillips, but quit on him when he needed them most.
Garrett won't allow this team to quit on him, despite Jones mixing up the coaching staff. Garrett is making sure his last stand holds up well, so the Cowboys can reach the postseason.
If they don't make the playoffs, Garrett will at least be able to say that he did it his way.