Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Sounds like Garrett still wants to call plays
By Dan Graziano
PHOENIX -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday that nothing has changed with regard to the decision on whether he'll continue to call the team's offensive plays in 2013. Garrett has been the playcaller on offense since before he was head coach and has said in the past that he didn't want to give up those duties. But there has been much discussion about the team making such a change this offseason, and for a while it appeared team owner Jerry Jones was set to either bring in a playcaller or hand the duties over to offensive line coach Bill Callahan.
That hasn't happened, however, and it certainly seems as though Garrett is resisting:
"The job of a head coach is a significant one with a lot of responsibilities," Garrett said. "The job of an offensive coordinator/play-caller is a significant one with a lot of responsibilities. And I understand it because I have been doing it for the last two and half years. There is a reason that 28 of the 32 head coaches don’t do it. But there are some compelling examples as to why you do do it. It's been something that has been relatively successful for us."
I have to think this is more about organizational control, however, and Garrett not wanting to give up the degree of that control he currently possesses. There are strong indications, their denials notwithstanding, that the changes made to the coaching staff this offseason were made by Jones and not Garrett. The Cowboys' coach may be trying to fight off a public perception that he has no say in how his team is run, and holding onto play-calling duties could be a line in the sand for him.
I think it's possible that ridding himself of play-calling duties could be a good thing for Garrett and make him a better head coach. He seems to be doing the head-coach part of his job well. He has the respect of his players and control of the locker room, and the Cowboys held together through a great deal of adversity in 2012 to contend for the division title until the final day of the season. Handing over play-calling duties to someone else he trusts could help him continue to flourish in his other role.
However, one of the key issues is whether Callahan's the man for the job. He has his hands full already with a messy offensive line that needs improvement and might yet add a couple of key pieces before the start of the season. The performance of last year's offensive line wasn't exactly promotion-worthy, either. Change for change's sake isn't usually a good thing, and if this is a change the Cowboys plan to make, I think they need to consider what they gain from it before pushing ahead.