Dallas Cowboys: The Case Against Bill Callahan as Offensive Coordinator

Jason Henry@thenprojectCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2013

Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan talks to the offensive line on the bench during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys current offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Bill Callahan has emerged as a candidate to replace head coach Jason Garrett as the team’s play-caller.

As reported many times over, team owner Jerry Jones wants Garrett to give up his play-calling duties.

If he does, there have been a number of names listed to serve in Garrett’s role. Former Cowboys offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s name was mentioned, but he is on his way to Cleveland as the Browns' offensive coordinator.

Before hiring Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator, a name as a possible replacement for the departed Rob Ryan was former Cowboys assistant Dave Wannstedt. But according to Barry Horn of The Dallas Morning News, Jones is to stubborn to re-hire Wannstedt because it will conjure memories of Jimmy Johnson.

So with the old names out of the way, who might the team turn to?

Bill Callahan?

In addition to being the team’s offensive line coach and top offensive assistant, Callahan is the former head coach of the Oakland Raiders. While there, he called the team’s offensive plays, made Oakland the league’s best offensive team and led the Raiders to the Super Bowl in 2002.

Oakland was pretty good on offense that year. They were the league’s top passing team, going for 279 yards per game, 20 yards better than the NFL’s second-best team. Oakland’s run game was decent enough for 16th-best.

Yet while Callahan’s offensive credentials are impressive, the Raiders' success did come 10 years ago.

To give one an idea of how much the NFL has progressed offensively since then, the league’s top passing team went for 312 yards per game this season. If the 2002 Raiders were to play in today’s NFL, they would have fought with the Colts and the 2012 Raiders for the league’s eighth spot.

Not too bad, but would his offense actually stand?

On top of that, Callahan was responsible for the Cowboys' porous offensive line. Sure, there were a lot of injuries, but there were games when Tony Romo was either running for his life or on the ground hoping to save it.

Lastly, is this the type of discomfort that Jones was speaking of when he talked of making the organization uncomfortable?

By promoting Callahan to head play-caller, how different will the team’s offense truly look? Will the time management skills improve? Is Callahan going to add more variety and take out the repetitiveness?

Knowing that Callahan called plays for the Raiders' Super Bowl team in 2002 may sound good on the surface, but remember that Callahan was fired just one season after leading Oakland to the Super Bowl.

My advice to Jones is to keep looking. Callahan deserves another season as offensive line coach, but handing over play-calling duties to him seems to be a bad idea.



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