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Jason Garrett could benefit from OC hire

IRVING, Texas -- Jerry Jones will be the Dallas Cowboys' GM until the day he goes to glory. Jason Garrett will call plays until the day he's no longer the Cowboys' coach.

No amount of moaning or groaning will ever change those two truths, so deal with it.

What you must understand is Jerry wants Garrett to call the plays. Even if Garrett wanted to give up those duties, Jerry wouldn't let him.

Jerry, you see, has this misguided notion that when a coach calls the offensive or defensive signals, depending on his area of expertise, it gives the players tangible evidence that the coach is contributing to the wins and losses.

It's the reason Chan Gailey was contractually obligated to call plays during his two years as coach. And among the reasons Jones insisted Wade Phillips take over the defensive play calling from Brian Stewart midway through 2008.

And I'll bet you dinner at Dallas' best steakhouse that Garrett's contract requires him to call plays, too.

Never mind that Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer didn't call the offensive or defensive signals for any of the three Super Bowl teams in the Jerry era. Sometimes, all we can do is shake our heads.

Still, adding Bill Callahan is a good move for Garrett.

Although Callahan will have the title of offensive coordinator, he won't call the plays, which is part of the reason he's here instead of Tony Sparano, who will be calling the plays for the New York Jets next season.

Hiring Callahan showed Garrett isn't afraid to break with the past, since Callahan's addition resulted in Hudson Houck retiring.

Houck, the NFL's highest-paid offensive line coach, is among the most respected coaches in the game and spent 13 seasons with the Cowboys, spanning two stints.

But Garrett knew he needed more from his offensive line, especially after Doug Free regressed from 2010, Phil Costa failed to improve during the season and fourth-round pick David Arkin never even saw the field.

Say whatever you want about Callahan, but he's respected as a coach with a knack for developing young talent.

We'll see.

As a former head coach with the Oakland Raiders and the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Callahan might even be able to help Garrett with his time-management issues, whether it's on game day or during the week.

After all, time-management gaffes contributed to losses against the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants, and the Cowboys had way too many situations with too many or too few players on the field.

What Garrett needs to do more than anything is trust Callahan with the running game -- Garrett's brother, John, handles the passing game -- and the pass-protection schemes.

Garrett can even let Callahan run some offensive meetings, so he can spend more time with Rob Ryan and his defense.

It might be Ryan's scheme, but Garrett needs to take a more active role. The way this team is structured, it's almost as though Ryan has autonomy.

That setup didn't work with Garrett and Phillips, and it's not going to work with Garrett and Ryan.

Garrett has to feel knowledgeable enough to tell Ryan to be a little more conservative on this drive. Or more aggressive on that drive.

If he needs to tell him to remove a struggling player, then so be it. The same goes if he wants a young guy with a high motor, such as Sean Lissemore, to get a few more snaps during a game.

Garrett is not just the offensive head coach. He's the Cowboys' coach.

We found out last summer that Garrett will make tough decisions concerning his players. We've found out this week that he'll make tough decisions regarding his staff.

What we haven't learned yet is whether he'll make tough decisions about himself.

Hiring Callahan and giving him significant responsibility during the week would be a good start, since Garrett ain't giving up the play calling.

And it would give him more time to spend with Ryan and the defense.

Jean-Jacques Taylor is a columnist for ESPNDallas.com.