It's your call
Callahan should get another chance
It's clear Jerry Jones made the decision to push Bill Callahan into the playcaller's seat for the Cowboys in 2013.
Callahan is used to working with the West Coast offense and not the timing-based offense coach Jason Garrett uses.
Callahan did fine with the passing attack but struggled with the run game. A slight adjustment to the structure, moving Wade Wilson to the press box to help Callahan read the defenses faster, seemed to help as the season progressed.
So, why would Jones make a change now?
It doesn't make sense.
When Garrett called plays, there were questions about his lack of use of the run game. Just ask former Cowboys running back Felix Jones what he thought of the run game.
You might get the same answer from DeMarco Murray, the man in charge of putting the run game in gear on the field now.
Both would say there's been an inconsistent use of it.
One thing Callahan can say is that he has a 1,000-yard rusher in Murray, something Garrett wasn't able to do as the playcaller.
Of course, the Cowboys weren't perfect. There were too many games where Dez Bryant disappeared and not because of the defensive alignments.
The Cowboys were a poor third-down team, converting just 35 percent. Callahan gave quarterback Tony Romo too much freedom to check out of run plays to pass.
Yes, Romo had the power -- thanks to Jones -- to make calls, but Callahan needed to stick up for the calls that were made on the field.
No offense is perfect, but one thing we liked with Callahan was that the Cowboys did score some points.
The Cowboys finished 2013 scoring the fifth most points in the league and fourth most in the red zone, scoring 92.2 percent of the time.
Tight end Jason Witten finished with eight touchdown catches and Bryant had 13 to go along with 1,233 yards.
Rookie receiver Terrance Williams emerged as a threat with his 736 yards and five touchdowns.
The offensive line, considered a mess in training camp, morphed into something solid and produced a Pro Bowler at left tackle in Tyron Smith.
So there was some good.
Callahan had his issues, but he should be given another chance to move the offense forward.
Garrett should be calling the plays
Jason Garrett should be calling the plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
I said it in June when the decision to make Bill Callahan the playcaller was finally made public. I said it in the middle of the 2012 season after the end-of-game mess against the Baltimore Ravens. I've probably said it a few more times in other spots as well.
Garrett was hired as the head coach because of what he did with an offense that did not have Tony Romo for the final 10 games of the 2010 season because of a broken collarbone. With Jon Kitna playing quarterback, the offense averaged 30 points in the six games he started and finished after Garrett was appointed the interim head coach.
The Cowboys run his offense. In June, I felt Callahan would be compromised because the Cowboys are not running his system. He had no familiarity with the passing game entering 2012. In 2011, he was offensive coordinator in name only. He dealt with the running game. Garrett dealt with the passing game.
The Cowboys showed improvement in a couple areas in 2013. They were better in the red zone. They were better running the ball, especially late in the season. But they were dreadful on third down, finishing 25th in the league. Offenses make their bones on third downs and points. The points were better, but the Cowboys had six touchdowns scored by the defense and special teams.
After the Nov. 17 bye week, Garrett had more of a say in the offense. He moved Wade Wilson up to the coaches' booth alongside Callahan, and he relayed the plays to Romo or Kyle Orton. Garrett insisted Callahan continued to call the plays even under the new arrangement.
During the season, Garrett said if he wanted to take back the job, he could. Maybe he could, even if owner and general manager Jerry Jones set the plan of having Callahan serve as the playcaller in motion.
I thought 2013 would have been a win-or-else season for Garrett and believed if he was going to go down, he should go down doing what he does best -- calling the plays.
Obviously, 2013 was not a win-or-else season, so now 2014 has to be one, right?
I'll say it again: If Garrett is going to go down, he should be the one calling the plays in 2014.
Of course, if the Cowboys can go get Norv Turner, I'd rather them do that.
But that's another Hot Button issue for another time.
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