Should the Dallas Cowboys Take Play-Calling Duties Away from Jason Garrett?

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJanuary 18, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (L) shakes hands with head coach Jason Garrett (R) before the start of the Cowboys game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on November 20, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Jerry Jones has already made his splash. He spoke with Jasmine Sadry of KRLD-FM and said things were going to become very uncomfortable around Valley Ranch after the Dallas Cowboys lost their last two games of 2012 to miss the playoffs for the third straight season, and he was right.

Gone, now, are three assistants: running backs coach Skip Peete, special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. There's also a chance tight ends coach John Garrett ends up finding a new home, too. Only half of those four guys were fired, but the fact that coaches are jumping ship indicates there's unease within the team facility.

And while head coach Jason Garrett survived Black Monday and the days and weeks that followed, there's still a chance Jones strips Garrett of his play-calling responsibilities. That's something that has been reported several times in several different spots, but was reinforced Thursday night by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, who claimed that, according to a league source, the 'Boys are "quietly looking for a new offensive coordinator."

Anecdotally, I've been watching the Cowboys closely for years and I've actually had fewer qualms with Garrett's play-calling as head coach than I did when he was strictly the offensive coordinator. Still, if Jones and his advisers believe that this team is better off with someone else calling plays, it likely won't do much harm.

Obviously, those who have too much on their plates have a lesser chance of succeeding than those who can focus on fewer tasks. 

I also doubt such a move would save this team. Firstly, I don't think it needs saving, and I think the offense is in good shape. Additionally, I don't think the play-calling was perfect last season, but nothing leads me to believe there are better options out there.

Bill Callahan? Houston Nutt? Norv Turner's already been snatched up elsewhere, and time is running out as staffs are filled league-wide.

That's why I don't think Jones is going to make any changes after all. If he were, he would have done so by now. Why let this linger for three weeks? Probably because he made that promise about people becoming uncomfortable and because he's a showman first and a football executive second. 

The reality is, so long as Garrett is calling the shots as the head coach this will be his offense, and the broad tendencies in play-calling won't change regardless of who's calling them. We saw this six years ago when Andy Reid surrendered play-calling duties to Marty Mornhinweg in Philadelphia. That didn't do the Eagles any good because Reid was still dictating the basic flow of the offense. 

All this means is Garrett will undoubtedly enter 2013 on one hell of a hot seat. But most of us had already figured that out without all of the rhetoric and the deliberate rumors.