Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Cowboys' decisions continue dysfunction
By Calvin Watkins
The dysfunction only seen with the Dallas Cowboys continued during Super Bowl week.
The franchise released a statement Tuesday evening announcing a hire and what essentially amounted to two demotions.
Scott Linehan was hired as passing game coordinator/playcaller. Bill Callahan lost the play-calling duties but maintained the title of offensive coordinator/offensive line coach.
Rod Marinelli gained the title of defensive coordinator. That title previously belonged to Monte Kiffin, who is now the assistant head coach/defense.
It’s clear that Jason Garrett wasn’t pleased with Callahan’s job performance in 2013. And while Garrett couldn’t regain the job for himself again, he compromised with Jerry Jones and hired someone he trusts to call plays. Garrett, while not saying it, demoted Callahan and gave the play-calling duties to an old friend in Linehan.
Callahan isn’t happy with the move and wants out, but Jones won’t let him interview elsewhere.
As for Kiffin, Jones should have fired him when the season ended and used that opportunity to hire someone to run a version of the 4-3 Tampa 2 scheme. Leslie Frazier and Jim Schwartz were available.
Jones and Garrett, to a certain degree, tip-toed around the decisions at the Senior Bowl by saying coaches were under contract and that they were evaluating the coaching staff. There’s nothing to evaluate when you allow a franchise record 6,645 yards.
Jones elected to move Kiffin to an "assistant head coach" position rather than fire him. Is Kiffin going to help Garrett manage the game better? We know he won't be weighing in on the offense. The absolute best the Cowboys can hope for is that he'll be a sounding board for Garrett and Marinelli.
The Cowboys don’t appear to be a franchise with much direction.
Jones decided not to fire Garrett or give him a contract extension. Instead, he chose to let Garrett him to enter the last year of his contract to fight for his job rather than having the security of one or two extra years that coaches need to govern.
Jones doesn’t believe in "lame duck" status, and that’s fine, but it’s the reality of Garrett’s situation. If Garrett doesn't make the playoffs in 2014, he’s gone, no questions asked.
If he makes the postseason, ending a four-year drought for the franchise, what should Jones do? Give him a new three-year contract? Unless the team advances deep into the playoffs, the dysfunction is sure to follow.