After much delay and waiting to hear who will call plays for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, it has been confirmed that Bill Callahan, the offensive coordinator, will be calling the plays for the season. Head Coach Jason Garrett hasn’t had much success with calling the plays the last few seasons, the Cowboys have finished 15th in the league in scoring. They did finish 6th in 2012 and 11th in 2012 for yards gained but as we all know, it isn’t how many yards you put up…it’s all about how many points you score.
Bill Callahan has been coaching since 1980 starting out as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Illinois. From there he became an assistant coach until he was hired an offensive line coach at Northern Arizona University in 1987. From there he had stints at Southern Illinois where he had his first job as an offensive coordinator in 1989. He also worked at Wisconsin in the 90’s then got his first NFL job in 1995 working for the Philadelphia Eagles as their offensive line coach. After working three seasons with Ray Rhodes, moved on to the Oakland Raiders as their offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, he then switched to the offensive line one year later still maintaining the title of OC.
After working from 1998 to 2001 as their offensive coordinator, he was promoted to head coach replacing Jon Gruden who went on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As luck would have it, not only did Callahan replace Gruden, they met in the Super Bowl that season. Tampa Bay took home the trophy but Callahan earned a lot of respect that season. Callahan only coached the Raiders for two seasons before he accepted a job back to the college ranks with Nebraska. One side note though, in January of 2013, former wide receiver Tim Brown accused Callahan of sabotaging the Super Bowl game. Callahan changed the game plan the Friday before the game from a run heavy to a pass heavy plan. Former wide receiver Jerry Rice, who played for the Raiders at the time, supported Brown’s claim stating that “I think of a lot of the players were surprised also so in a way maybe because he didn’t like the Raiders he decided “Hey look maybe we should sabotage just a little bit and let Jon Gruden go and win this one.”” No proof has ever produced of the supposed sabotage and Callahan has denied the allegations. Days later, Brown recounted his comments and denied ever saying Callahan did anything to sabotage the game.
After his firing from the Raiders, Nebraska was his next stop and he didn’t fair very well as the Cornhuskers only had two winning seasons and they only ranked once in a major poll in the four years he as the head coach. Having a 1-10 record against ranked teams didn’t help any either. He was named the worst coaching hire of the decade in college football by Sports Illustrated.
In 2008, he hired on with the New York Jets as their assistant head coach and also coached their offensive line for one season. He stayed with the Jets for four seasons before signing on with the Dallas Cowboys as their offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Last season, he helped plan the game plan but didn’t do all of the duties of the offensive coordinator would normally do.
This coming season, he will be calling the plays for the Cowboys and as offensive coordinator, he has done pretty well. His 2000 Oakland Raiders ranked 1st in points scored and rushing yards. In 2001, his offense in Raider nation ranked first in total offensive yards, 3rd for points scored, 1st in passing yards, and 1st for least amount of interceptions.
Callahan did state that even though he is calling the plays, that there will be collaboration between him and head coach Jason Garrett. Judging from Callahan’s record as a head coach and offensive coordinator, if it were me giving him the advice, I would tell him to stay on as an OC because his head coaching record is something that isn’t very desirable. Let’s hope this translates to a change on Sundays for our Cowboys for the positive.