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Friday, February 15, 2013
Uncomfortable offseason at Valley Ranch

By Calvin Watkins

IRVING, Texas -- When the 2012 season ended, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he wanted people to be "uncomfortable" at Valley Ranch.

Jones, along with coach Jason Garrett, got rid of several assistant coaches, including defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and running backs coach Skip Peete.

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Garrett is on the verge of losing his play-calling duties, though he won't confirm it's actually happening.

It also appears Garrett is losing some power at Valley Ranch, but he spent the first 27 minutes of his 57-minute news conference Wednesday talking about the coaching staff he put together. However, on Thursday, newly-hired defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said it was Jones who called him about the defensive coordinator job.

So things have been uncomfortable at Valley Ranch, right?

"Well, the word I like to use for all of us, and our players have heard me say this a lot and our coaches have heard me say this a lot, is urgent," Garrett said. "Urgency is really, really important in football and in life. Urgent means to make important. We try to make each day important. That’s what I’ve tried to do as the head coach of this football team and we’ll continue to do that."

So things aren't uncomfortable?

"Well, it’s been unusual, no doubt," quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said. "To say we’re a little bit behind right now as far as going through the cut-ups and things like that and new staff and new staff members, there’s still a lot of uncertainty out here, but we just deal with it the best way we can.

"Well, the first couple of weeks of the offseason you don’t know if you’re going to have a job, so yeah, it was somewhat uncomfortable."

It seems offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan has embraced Jones' comments and is using them as a personal challenge. Callahan has been a head coach in college and the NFL, so he understands the pressures that comes from either an athletic director or owner.

"Jerry made a great statement," Callahan said. "Things have been uncomfortable. That’s the nature of the National Football League. Every day I come to work, I’m not comfortable. I know that. I got to get my group going. I got to get these guys going. They’ve got to compete. They’ve got to produce, and that’s on me. Every day I come here, I do that. That’s a part of my job description. So I embrace that."

There is some debate over whether Jones' comments were intended to make Garrett uncomfortable.

"You’ll have to ask him," Garrett said. "But again, ever since I’ve been in this league as a player and a coach the approach I’ve taken is one of urgency. I understand the privilege we have to play and coach in this league and I try to make every day important, be my best and try to convey that to my staff and our entire football team."