Aug 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talks with head coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan during the game against the St Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
As Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan continue coyly avoiding the question of who’s gonna call the plays for the Dallas Cowboys, owner and GM, Jerry Jones is hinting that it might not be either one of them.
Jerry keeps qualifying (or should I says ‘clarifying’) his earlier statements that Cowboys QB, Tony Romo, will be spending ‘Peyton Manning’ type time at Valley Ranch this year working with the coaches. Everyone knows that the elder Manning brother is known as a coach on the field – his own offensive coordinator some go as far as saying. Hhmm?
Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) signals at the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
I’ve wondered since Jerry said those things what he could possibly mean. After all, every year, the coaching staff, whether Wade Phillips’ staff or Jason Garrett’s, tells us that Romo is the first one in and the last one out where the team is concerned. No player puts in more time preparing for the games than Romo.
Romo plays golf in the off season, like many NFL players do, but because he’s good at it, many fans and others outside the organization assume his loyalties don’t necessarily lie in football. But no one inside the organization has questioned his commitment to football, let alone his commitment to the Dallas Cowboys. So why is Romo now being asked to put in even more time?
Just in the last couple days, Jerry Jones said that his comments were not a back handed criticism of Romo, but that – as Peyton does – Romo would be spending that extra time with the coaches, really getting into how the offense is going to work. Hhmm?
Meanwhile, everyone has assumed, since Jerry’s public neutering of Garrett, telling him to lighten his load, that Cowboys offensive coordinator (in name only), Bill Callahan, would pick up the slack and start to call plays. Did the Cowboys owner ever actually say that Callahan was going to call the plays? He may have said Callahan is capable of doing it, but that’s not the same.
No one in the Dallas Cowboys organization is coming right out and saying who’s calling plays. It may end up being Bill Callahan after all, but that doesn’t explain the purposeful lack of clarity on the subject whenever someone tries to pin down Jerry or the Cowboys coaches.
Nov 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) on the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during a game on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Could it be that the Cowboys plan is to have Romo call his own plays? Or that all this talk of which coach will be responsible for what is just spin while they evaluate whether Romo can do the job himself?
Romo calling his own plays would have been the farthest thing from my mind had Jerry not said ‘Peyton Manning type time’. Again, Peyton Manning is that ‘coach on the field’. He works closely with the offensive coordinator and calls many of his own plays.
Jerry Jones is telling us that Tony Romo will be spending more time preparing for the games. He tells us that Romo is much more capable now, of spending this extra time preparing, than he was a few years ago. All the while, everyone at Valley Ranch continues to be vague about the play calling duties.
What else, then, could the Cowboy’s owner be alluding to?