The Dallas Cowboys Play Caller Circus

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Jason Garrett comes from a football family. He himself has a total of 22 years of NFL experience under his hat and it will be 23 years this year. He repeatedly has told the media that they are over emphasizing the importance of who the play caller is. Bill Callahan has 14 years of NFL experience. He said essentially the same thing. Tony Romo now has 11 years of NFL experience. He too has said the same thing. Why are these three men, who have a combined resume of 47 years of NFL experience, going on 50 years, saying this? And, why are the Dallas media unwilling to accept the answer despite their zero years of NFL experience?

It is a fair question. To get an answer we first must deduce what we can from why these three men don’t feel it is a big deal. One thing they keep telling the media is that game plans are a collaborative effort. What does this mean? Basically it means that no one man inputs the entire game plan without input from anyone else. It has never been just Jason Garrett creating what this Offense is doing. It isn’t going to be just Bill Callahan doing that either. This is why none of these men feel it is as big a deal as the media and some fans seem to.

June 11, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett (left) talks with defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin after minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Every Offensive coach and player has input into what they see on film in their studies. If the third string Quarterback, who is never going to get into the game barring a miracle, notices something, do you think no one is going to listen to him? Trust me when I tell you, they will listen to every voice. What does this have to do with play calling? Simple, play calling is done through what is called a game plan. Every voice goes into that game plan. The chances of Callahan calling a drastically different play than Garrett would have is somewhere between slim and none. They are going to call plays based upon what the game situation dictates, and what the Defense is giving them.

What does this mean to the layman? Basically it means that the notes that make up the game plan aren’t going to change. So in the 4th quarter, against the Washington Redskins, on 3rd and 4 with the Redskins showing a Nickel look the Cowboys are going to call a pass play and a run play. Tony Romo is going to relay this to the Offense in the huddle and then he is going to step up to the Line of Scrimmage, read the Defense and make a decision. He might even audible out of the called play to something else based on what he reads. Is it then still the play call? Of course not. Do any of us know how many times per game a Quarterback audibles out? Again the answer is no.

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