Garrett: Bill Callahan to call plays

Updated: June 11, 2013, 7:10 PM ET
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- One week after declining to do so, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett acknowledged Tuesday that Bill Callahan will call plays for the offense in 2013.

On June 4, owner and general manager Jerry Jones strongly hinted that Callahan would call plays, which was followed by Callahan confirming he would handle the role. Garrett, however, was unwilling to say he would be handing over the play-calling duties he had held since 2007.

Garrett said the miscommunication was his fault and the plan has actually been in place since late January.

"Mr. Jones, Stephen [Jones] and I, we're all on the same page and have been on the same page for months and been acting that way around this building," Garrett said. "We just hadn't said it out loud."

In the rookie minicamp and organized team activities earlier in the offseason, Callahan had been calling the plays. He continued to call them on Tuesday in the first practice of the Cowboys' three-day minicamp.

"This is something we talked about literally on the Monday before the New York Football Giant game in 2010 when I was first named interim coach: How do we want to do the play calling?" Garrett said.

"And we talked about it a lot about different ways since I was named head coach at that time. We talked about it during that season. We talked about it after that season. We talked about it the next season. It just finally got to the point this year since Bill Callahan has been here for a year. He was our run-game coordinator last year and getting more and more comfortable with our entire offense over the last couple of years. He's someone we believe is capable of doing it and doing a really good job for us."

Garrett said Callahan will most likely work up in the coaches' booth during games and not on the sidelines.

Garrett said the move will free him up for game-management decisions as well as help his ability to oversee the entire team.

"Probably 27 or 28 teams in the league do it that way; that's the way we're doing to," Garrett said. "We were a little bit unique. There are a handful of teams that have had the head coach be the acting offensive coordinator and calling plays. They happened to be some of the best offenses, so there was always that argument that we made, 'Some of the best guys do it this way,' and so we had that tug and really have had that tug for the last couple of years. We finally decided this was the best way to do it."

Callahan has not called plays in an NFL game since 2003 or since he was head coach at Nebraska in 2007. Before joining the New York Jets in 2008, he worked mostly in a West Coast offense but has said the scheme Garrett uses is similar to what the Jets ran.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter