Monday, January 17, 2011
Will Jason Garrett be able to delegate?
By Dan Graziano
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made it very clear at his introductory news conference that he would remain the offensive coordinator. Other head coaches/playcallers around the league (see Sean Payton, Todd Haley) have hired offensive coordinators. And Haley turned over the playcalling duties to Charlie Weis this season as the Kansas City Chiefs made an improbable playoff run. (Yes, I know what happened in the playoff game).
Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com points out that Garrett is following a similar plan that Bill Parcells used when he was with the Cowboys. Parcells had a passing game coordinator and a running game coordinator in 2005 and 2006. Payton was calling the plays in 2005 and Tony Sparano in 2006.
But Garrett's not planning to hand his assistants that much responsibility. He has given his older brother, John, the title of passing-game coordinator to go along with coaching the tight ends, but it's hard to imagine Jason giving up calling plays at any point during a game. And I think that's a mistake.
Garrett is just starting to realize how many different things he has to juggle as head coach. And with all this new power that owner Jerry Jones has bestowed upon him, it's more important than ever to be able to delegate some of the responsibilities to the rest of the staff. He's helped himself in a big way by hiring a proven defensive coordinator in Rob Ryan, so that's a good start. But we've already seen what happens when a head coach is preoccupied with one side of the football (see Wade Phillips).
I think Garrett would've been wise to hire a veteran offensive coordinator. Now that he has "fired" Ray Sherman, there's not a member of the offensive staff other than Garrett who has any playcalling experience in the NFL. Offensive line coach Hudson Houck has his hands full with a unit that is coming off an awful season. Maybe he'll be named the running-game coordinator, but it's not like he will be telling Garrett which plays to call during the game.
The NFC East now has four offensive-minded head coaches in place. But only one of them will be calling plays in 2011.