Wednesday, January 16, 2013
How potential changes impact Jason Garrett
By Calvin Watkins
It remains to be seen if Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett will lose his play-calling duties for the 2013 season.
What we do know is owner/general manager Jerry Jones has talked about making changes after on another 8-8 finish, and he wants people uncomfortable at Valley Ranch.
Here's what Garrett said after the season ended when asked about his play-calling duties: "Yeah, again, this is 18 hours after the game last night, so we’re not getting into all those discussions right now. I would certainly anticipate the status quo from that standpoint."
That comment came, as Garrett said, the night after losing to the Washington Redskins in the regular-season finale.
In an interview on KRLD-FM, Garrett addressed the issue again: "We would just talk it through. Again, Line 1 for me in the position that I'm in is what's best for the Dallas Cowboys -- in every way, shape or form, however we're doing. Anything and everything is on the table. If we think collectively that something can help us in doing something different than we're doing it now that's going to make us a better football team, I'm open to it," Garrett said. "I've made no bones about that from the beginning. I just believe in that from the bottom of my heart."
If Garrett does release play calling duties, who should take over?
Offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan?
Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson?
Is looking outside the organization an option? Hue Jackson, who interviewed for the offensive coordinators position with the Carolina Panthers this week, is somebody worth mentioning. Tony Sparano, the former offensive coordinator with the New York Jets, could be given another tour of Valley Ranch. Pete Carmichael Jr., is a free agent, after working as the New Orleans Saints' offensive coordinator this season. What about him? Jim Caldwell has done a solid job since taking over as Baltimore's play-caller. Caldwell interviewed for the Cowboys' head coaching gig that eventually went to Wade Phillips in 2007.
If Garrett loses his responsibilities, the smart money is to make Callahan taking over.
But at what cost?
Does Garrett lose power, not only in the organization, but in the locker room, too?
Players play for themselves, but they also need strong leaders in front of them. Garrett was praised by the players last season for how he handled the team during tough times. He brought the team together and bonded with his group after practice squad player Jerry Brown was killed in a car crash.
Garrett remained in touch with Josh Brent, the man charged with intoxication manslaughter resulting in Brown's death. You can even go before the season when Garrett maintained his support for Dez Bryant, who was charged with hitting his mother during an incident over the summer. Garrett talked about not only supporting Bryant, but his mother, as well.
Players notice things like that. They want to know the head coach has their back.
But does Jones have Garrett's back? By taking the play-calling duties away from him, do the players think that Garrett is on a short leash because of a potential move?
I remember what Garrett said after the season regarding self evaluation: "I have to get better. Trust me, one of the first things out of our mouth is collective responsibility, starting with me the head football coach."
Garrett said he's open to change.
But at what cost?