As expected, waves of change now begin to rise on the offensive side of the ball.
Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl—and he’s talking up a storm. Jones has officially announced that head coach Jason Garrett will not be calling offensive plays in 2013.
This isn’t really news.
Following the dismantling of the defensive coaching staff earlier this month, it was eluded to that Jones’ “uncomfortable” offseason would reach all cracks and crevices at Valley Ranch—except those in his office probably.
So the next question, if we can call it that, is who will call those plays and manage football games seeing as how offensive-genius Garrett can’t be bothered with it anymore?
Offensive line coach Bill Callahan was brought in under duress last season as the Dallas offensive line got off to a horrible start to the season. Over time, quarterback Tony Romo ran for his life a little less and Dallas strung together some wins in staying in the playoff hunt until the final weekend of the regular season.
Callahan might have been the first true warning shot to Garrett long before the story of 2012 had been written.
You realize that Dallas now has three assistant coaches that are head coach-qualified in the NFL? Two of those three have actually done it in the last decade or less and these coaches span both sides of the ball.
Callahan, ironically, faced off against new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s ‘Tampa 2’ defense in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego ten years ago. Callahan ended up on the short end of that as the Buccaneers outclassed the Raiders in every way possible.
But Callahan was the head coach of that Oakland team and that fact can’t just be ignored.
Callahan will be charged with calling an offense that had become predictable, one-dimensional and flat-out irresponsible under Garrett. This is what sometimes happens when unqualified people are placed in positions they either aren’t capable of or aren’t ready for.
Dallas’ offseason priorities remain the same on offense. Romo has to have better protection if he, or any other signal caller, is going to be successful, period. A much more significant commitment to the running game and possibly the running back position is definitely in order.
Interesting will be whether Dallas changes playbooks or continues with the system in place.
I’m betting on the latter.
But Callahan might have more talent than he had while with Oakland during that brief head coaching stint a decade ago. If he can guide the ghosts of Rich Gannon, Jerry Rice and Tim Brown to the Super Bowl, there is positively no doubt that he is a better option than Garrett.
Frankly, it would be really hard for things to get worse.