NFC East: wade wilson

Jerry: QB coach in press box a key change

November, 27, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- Head coach Jason Garrett's role in the Dallas Cowboys' revamped offensive play-calling process got most of the attention.

Owner/general manager Jerry Jones, however, thinks people have overlooked the most important change. He cited quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson moving from the sideline to the press box as the most significant adjustment to the play-calling process.

Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan had been relaying play calls through Wilson on the sideline all season until Sunday, when Garrett replaced Wilson as the middleman between Callahan and quarterback Tony Romo, with Wilson joining the offensive coordinator in the press box.

“The key there is Wade Wilson,” Jones said Wednesday morning on the NFL Network. “Wade Wilson is a seasoned veteran, not only an outstanding NFL player, but he’s been an outstanding coach. We always wanted to figure out somehow how to get his vision, his skill up in that box.

“When you watch the game the way you and I watch it, it’s a different game than right there on the sideline or behind the center as the quarterback. So we had the advantage of having Wade Wilson upstairs looking down on the game, and then he’d relay that in.

“Of course, Tony makes the decisions out there and has the ability. That was a big part of why that worked so much. He has the ability to call it a run, call it a pass or go to play-action, all of those things. I think we’ve got a great combination. The key ingredient is Wade Wilson upstairs looking at the game.”

It’s not as if the Cowboys morphed into an offensive juggernaut with the changes, although it worked well enough for Dallas to pull out a critical 24-21 win against the New York Giants. The Cowboys scored two offensive touchdowns and accounted for 327 total yards in the win, putting together a 15-play, 64-yard drive to set up the game-winning field goal in the final seconds.

Garrett has downplayed what has been perceived as his increased role in the play-calling process. Jones gives most of the play-calling credit to Romo, not the coaching staff.

“He’s a natural play-caller,” Jones said. “He really is imaginative. When he’s out there running the team, we get to use all that. That was a part of our offseason work, to give him more say-so about how we’re going down the field than he has had in the past. Now, to do that, you’ve got to be in there on Monday and Tuesday with the coaches, not necessarily on the off day with the players. He’s done that, done it religiously, and it’s paying off for us.”
IRVING, Texas -- As a sign of his more involvement in the offense, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett remained with that unit for the first time on a Friday practice this season, running through plays with quarterback Tony Romo.

Previously Garrett had served as the scout-team quarterback for the defense in red-zone work while Bill Callahan and Wade Wilson worked the offensive drills.

Garrett said last week that Callahan would continue to be the playcaller. On Friday he reiterated that he did not anticipate moving coaches from the field to the coaches booth in an attempt to shake things up. Callahan has spent the season in the coaches’ booth and Wilson has relayed the calls into Romo.


How would you grade the job Jerry Jones is doing this season?


Discuss (Total votes: 11,979)

On the field, the only players missing from practice were linebackers Sean Lee (hamstring), Justin Durant (hamstring), and DeVonte Holloman (neck).

With Thursday’s release of cornerback Micah Pellerin, Morris Claiborne will return Sunday against the New York Giants from a two-game absence because of a hamstring injury. Garrett said the shoulder injury Claiborne suffered in the season opener is no longer an issue.

“Mo’s practiced well the last couple of days, and we’re excited about his return,” Garrett said, “unless something happens here in the next couple of days.”
Washington Redskins

Some changes and potential changes in the middle ranks of the Redskins' coaching staff. Wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard has left to take the same job on the Buffalo Bills' staff, and defensive backs coach Raheem Morris is interviewing for the defensive coordinator job with the Cleveland Browns. Hilliard's replaceable, and those close to the team say offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan works more closely with the receivers than with any unit on the offense. And Morris was never going to be a long-timer in Washington. The former Bucs head coach remains a young star, and if the Browns don't start his move back up the ranks, someone else is likely to do so soon. His relationships with Shanahan and Bruce Allen helped him get the Redskins job last year after the Bucs fired him.

London Fletcher was on our air a lot the last couple of days as a guest analyst. Did a good job, I thought. As to whether or not he's interested in doing that full-time, Fletcher says he's going to take some time and decide if he wants to retire or return for a 16th NFL season.

New York Giants

Giants linebacker Spencer Paysinger played for new Eagles coach Chip Kelly at Oregon and thinks the the rest of the NFC East could be in for a tough time against a Kelly-coached offense.

Ohm Youngmisuk's "Five Giant Losses" series takes a look at the very worst one of the year -- the Week 15 shutout in Atlanta.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys' coaching staff is starting to take shape a bit. Secondary coach Jerome Henderson and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson are staying put, and they're talking to former Arkansas coach Houston Nutt about becoming the new running backs coach. Of course, the big question on everyone's mind remains whether or not the Cowboys will hire an offensive coordinator to take playcalling duties away from head coach Jason Garrett. We continue to wait and see on that.

The folks at take a look at the ways in which the Cowboys' offseason priorities could be affected by the hiring of Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jeff McLane does not think that Michael Vick or Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback for the Eagles in the first season under Chip Kelly. Jeff seems to believe the answer lies somewhere other than the current roster.

Among the many people Kelly credits with helping convince him to take the job were Jon Gruden and Kelly's predecessor, Andy Reid. Again, it was the right thing for the Eagles and Reid to part ways. But it says everything you need to know about Reid that he'd help the Eagles hire the guy they wanted to hire to replace him.