Cowboys Coaching Crossroad: The Case For Callahan

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Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talk with offensive coordinator Bill Callahan prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at AT

The simple truth is, in the third year of a comprehensive roster rebuild, this team wasn’t deep enough to overcome the ridiculous number of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. If the defense falls victim to just an average number of injuries, Bill Callahan’s offense leads this team to the playoffs.

The Cowboys scored 30 points or more six times this season. The eight division winners scored 30 or more 54 times, or an average of 6.7 each, so the Cowboys were right in line with the best teams in the league.

But the eight division winners went a combined 48-6 when scoring 30-plus – an .889 winning percentage. The Cowboys went 3-3. So, what, fire the OC for not scoring 40?

Now’s not the time to clean house. The talent has been getting deeper year by year, and should be deeper still in 2014. The voracious injury bug that destroyed the past two seasons is unlikely to strike as hard a third straight year, but even if it does, the Cowboys may have by then cobbled together a roster deep enough to overcome it.

The Dallas OC had a pretty good year overall. Did he make some mistakes? Sure. Can he recognize there are times where an offense doesn’t have to score to win a game, and improve at recognizing those instances of situational football? Of course. So can every coach on every team. But Bill Callahan is a smart, experienced, well-respected coach in this league – exactly the kind of guy who gets better his second season in the saddle. That’s cause for optimism, given how well his unit performed this year.

The best franchises are the most stable franchises – they hire good people and give them some room when they stumble. The Steelers and Ravens both went 8-8 and barely missed the playoffs this year. Sound familiar? There won’t be a panicked housecleaning in either of those cities.

Keep a guy like Callahan around, and odds are before long he’ll make you look good.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys

  • Fact Based Opinion

    Jason “Mr. Mediocrity” Garrett needs to go. Period.

  • Jimmy DeMarco

    There’s no question the offense played well this season. & Callahans biggest contribution came up front, with the offensive line.
    So I’ll say this, whoever cost us at least 3 wins because we only ran the ball on avg of 8 times in the second half of games where we had the lead, he needs to go.

    • jarrett p

      The offensive line wasn’t the problem it was jason garrett thought he could line up shot gun all the time never did hard count or changed anything. Tony romo didn’t hike the ball until last second he had to keep telling everyone who to block wasn’t good coaching.your right they were several games that we could not have lost if we would have just run the ball.every body on defense got hurt but the way they wasted their draft picks the last four years caught up with them because we had no talented back ups bw webb please heath should have been run out of town much less been playing in the final game bad coach bad gm another rerun next year.

      • Jimmy DeMarco

        The drafts is what ultimately led to the past 2 years. Injuries obviously killed us the last 2 season’s also. The last 2 drafts were strange, at best. Trading up for Claiborne, didn’t like it. The Crawford pick, there’s something about him, I think he’ll be a decent pick, gotta stay healthy of course. Wilber, eh. Rest of the draft, no need discussing.
        Last year’s draft, Frederick was a good pick. But we could have had him in the next round. Escobar made no sense, especially since they drafted Hanna the year before. But, I do like his athleticism and is a huge target & catches anything. He can’t block me, hopefully he improves on that. Williams was a good pick. Wilcox, I actually like. Webb & Randle, bad picks. No need to draft Randle when we had 3 rb’s already and Webb is atrocious. Holloman, I think he can be good with the right personal around him.

        If Jerry doesn’t make a conscious effort to draft defense this year, probably an OG too, Stephen should file papers with the state of Texas to have him removed from his job for incompetence.
        We need at least 2 defensive lineman, if not 3, a DE, a safety and a linebacker. I could see them drafting either a WR or qb in the late Rd.

        • jarrett p

          I agree but I think we don’t need a qb until next coach comes along. Romo only looks at one side of the field and don’t trust the running game probably why he wasn’t drafted.offense looked smoother with orten even though he had limited reps don’t think he’s the answer either, but I don’t think on defence we have enough draft picks or cap room to fix that problem. Another wasted year another bottle of boz and hopefully a new coach gm and qb the next year.

          • Jimmy DeMarco

            Most definitely a qb will be taken next year.
            And as for this upcoming season, it most likely could be a rough one.
            One draft isn’t going to make our defense top tier. And if we lose Hatcher and Spencer, which looks like a huge possibility, and even though we’re getting back a couple of key players, our defense might improve slightly, maybe lol. But with Ware and Lee apparently injury prone now, I’m not sure how much of an improvement there will be.

            I’m not sure we can draft enough impact players in this draft, on defense, to make a huge jump. And our cap situation, I’ve read so many different articles from, we’re screwed for 3 season’s to, we’ll be able to make a run at Bennett, Johnson, Byrd or Ward and Decker.
            Stories are all over the place.
            It’s definitely going to be a very interesting off season.

  • Juanito Juanito

    callahan should stay but only like offensive line coach, hes good there

  • ed

    Good observations and good analysis in this piece. Here’s a hint to other commenters. If you put the observation before the analysis you too can sound smart like this writer.