“When Jerry Jones speaks, you better be in the room.” That is what Nick Eatman was told by Mickey Spagnola when he was first brought on to the DallasCowboys.com team in the early 2000’s. The one question that has been hanging over Valley Ranch like a crazy Aunt who just won’t go home after the Holidays has been answered; well sort of.
Jerry Jones was asked the question once again during OTA’s this past week and he stated that if you look out onto the practice field you will see that Bill Callahan is taking on a bigger role. As soon as that came out of Jerry’s mouth this local media circus swarmed the Offensive Coordinator and baited him into actually believing it was out of the bag; to which he stated that he was honored and officially named himself the Dallas Cowboys’ new play-caller. Then like vultures to a rotting animal the pundits swooned in on Jason Garrett to add fuel to the fire. In all honesty, Jason Garrett handled the heat pretty well and said:
“My job is to do what is in best interest of The Dallas Cowboys so that’s how I proceed every day and that’s how I answer every question. So again, we’re focused on what we’re doing here with The Dallas “Football” Cowboys today in OTA day 8; we have a plan in place and will proceed with that plan.”
Now Jason Garrett did seem to have some frustration with the questioning, because frankly he would rather be answering questions regarding the progress this team is making through these practices. Jason goes on to be masterful in his way of answering questions or not answering them which is absolutely hilarious. Jason Garrett is from the “Bill Belichick School of Coaching” when it comes to interviews. He doesn’t want anything leaking that could have a 1% chance of giving up any competitive advantage and that is a commendable trait with this Head Coach.
This story has been so mind-boggling of how big it has become since January when nobody really cares who is calling the plays. It’s not like this team is going to a complete 180 flip with their playbooks. This is Jason Garrett’s team and Jason Garrett’s playbook, and it will continue to be that way regardless of what these over-exaggerating and mind-numbing groups of media folks think.
I don’t mean to say that nothing will change, because that is just an imprecise way of looking at this picture. Bill Callahan will definitely have his technique and way of calling plays but Jason Garrett will still be the Head Honcho and ultimately the final say on Gameday. What Callahan will do is probably focus on fixing the red-zone woes that have plagued them for the past few seasons. He will be assisting in game management and timeout situations. His biggest contribution will be the implementation of the 12 and 13 formation sets along with focusing on making significant improvements with this Offensive Line play.
Those are the real points of the story not the person calling the plays, not the undermining of a Head Coach. No matter how you slice it Jerry Jones is the Owner and General Manager, and he has always operated with the idea that any attention is positive for his Dallas Cowboys. In a way he is absolutely correct; it was that train of thought that led to him creating a $2 Billion Sport’s Franchise and helped really live that “America’s Team” moniker that was given to this team in the early 70’s. Just because these two in Jones and Garrett are different; doesn’t mean they can’t coexist and work well together.
This is not an Organization that is mismanaged, dysfunctional, or disorganized; no matter how many times that story is published. This is an organization that is plagued by the same tool that has made it one of the greatest franchises in NFL History; popularity. None of the other 32 teams in the NFL are drawing this much buzz regarding someone who doesn’t really control the outcome of the game. The New Orleans Saints are having a play-caller dilemma right now, nobody gives a whiff! Only the Dallas Cowboys draw the media to continue to try and destroy the very idea of any possible optimism in absolute ridiculous fashion. The play-caller will not determine how many games these Dallas Cowboys will win this year, the execution of these plays will.
I have preached execution all offseason long and will continue to do so because that is the real meat and potatoes in this discussion ladies and gentleman. There are many factors such as health and commitment that will also affect the outcome but execution trumps all. This team has had issues in the red-zone so they grabbed another running-back with a complete skill set, and grabbed a 6’5 pass catching demon tight end to add that advantage on the shrunken portion of the field. Callahan will do his diligence in trying to run the ball more efficiently in that area; and that’s all you can ask.
The Biggest Non-Story of the Offseason, which is what this has become. A constant circus of meddling and undermining that the masses are unfortunately reading on a daily basis. The players on this team know who their Coach is and have proven to play awfully hard for him in the past. They have come up short on a few notable occasions but 8-8 can become 10-6, or 11-5 or maybe even 12-4 for the optimists like me. More dedication to the execution and creating the right kind of tempo and atmosphere is the right recipe for success for these Dallas Cowboys. The media can keep writing these stories of Emperor Jerry Jones and his totalitarian style of management; but it’s just what it is; hoopla and bologna.