Who is more vital to the Cowboys' success?


Garrett now focus on big picture

Durrett By Richard Durrett

Jason Garrett finally came clean on exactly what the play-calling situation is at Valley Ranch, confirming what we already knew: Bill Callahan has full control of calling plays on offense this season.

That's good news for Garrett and good news for the Cowboys.

Garrett got a job in Dallas because he could call plays. He became head coach with the idea that he would call plays, something Jerry Jones wanted. But after two consecutive 8-8 seasons, a struggling running game and a few games where clock management was called into question, Garrett can now focus on the big picture.

He's not really a walk-around head coach. He's just a head coach. And he can do that without calling plays.

Sure, this is Garrett's offense and Callahan will have to adjust to some of the terminology. But he's had a year to see how this offense runs.

Garrett says it was a collective decision made by the organization back in January. Whether that's the case or Jerry forced his hand, it's the best thing for Garrett on the field.

And just because Callahan's offensive line didn't get the job done last year -- and it was terrible -- doesn't mean he can't call plays.

Yeah, he might have some rust because he hasn't called plays in six years, but he's called plays for successful offenses in the NFL in his career and will figure it out. Why couldn't he do it now?

And let's not forget Garrett will still be involved as the game plan is put together

Garrett can sit in whatever meetings he needs to, making sure things are just as he wants them. He can focus on various aspects of practice without getting caught up in the scripted plays or how the offense is reacting to every little thing.

And Garrett has veto power. He's the head coach. If he wants Callahan calling a running play on third-and-3, all he has to do is say that.

Garrett's job is based on whether this team can make the playoffs. Shoving aside the play-calling duties to Callahan and spending time on the big picture helps this Cowboys team make the playoffs.

And that helps Garrett keep his job.

Discombobulated dynamic is worse

Archer By Todd Archer

Jason Garrett should continue to call plays for the Dallas Cowboys.

It's his offense. He has done it for the past seven years and done well. Has he been perfect? No. But nobody is, including Sean Payton, whom many dreamed would somehow end up as the Cowboys' head coach after his yearlong suspension ended. Does Garrett abandon the run? Yeah, but I think mostly it's out of necessity, so I'll give him a pass more than most.

But I say Garrett should continue to call the plays mostly because this is not Bill Callahan's offense.

Callahan has been asked to learn a foreign passing game this offseason and take over. The passing game is what the Cowboys have done best for seven years. Callahan has called plays before, and he did an excellent job in taking Oakland to a Super Bowl using the West Coast system that he worked with when Jon Gruden was the Raiders' head coach.

Callahan last called all the plays in an NFL game in 2003. He called all the plays when he was Nebraska's coach from 2004 to 2007.

There will be some rust, and maybe that's the mechanics that Garrett has been talking about. But let's not act like calling plays in a practice, which Callahan has done this offseason, is the same as calling them in a game. Simply, it's not. Practices are scripted affairs. You move from one play to the next without hesitation. In a game, 40 seconds can move quickly, even when you're running your own offense.

To me, the Cowboys are putting Callahan in a difficult spot. He is being asked to run somebody else's offense while that somebody is peering over his shoulder. If Jerry Jones really was looking for Callahan to succeed, then the Cowboys would have spent the offseason learning the West Coast offense. Oh, but then Jones did not want to tinker with the success Tony Romo has had in running Garrett's offense.

Do you see how this sounds just a little discombobulated?

And then there's this: What has Callahan done since joining the Cowboys to earn the promotion to playcaller? The Cowboys had the worst rushing offense in team history in 2012 and the offensive line was the weak point.

Not all of that was Callahan's doing, obviously. Garrett got away from the run, but why beat your head against a wall so much? And Callahan had a say in the free-agent pickups along the line.

I believe Callahan is a good coach. He might even turn out to be the best fit for the Cowboys as a playcaller, but he's not in a position to succeed going into the 2013 season.

And if Callahan does not succeed, then Garrett will go down as the head coach unable to go down fighting as the playcaller of the offense he has designed.


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