Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has been criticized for clock management miscues while calling plays. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday that head coach Jason Garrett will not be the team's offensive play-caller next season.
While speaking to the media from Senior Bowl practices, Jones indirectly inferred that offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will take over the team's play-calling and that Garrett agreed with the change.
Garrett said he would be comfortable with Callahan handling the play-calling next season before Jones spoke Tuesday. Garrett has called the Cowboys' offensive plays since becoming head coach two and a half seasons ago. He has faced criticism for an offense that often must hurry to get a play off and game clock management mistakes.
“I’ve never been a guy where it’s been hell or high water that I’m going to call the plays,” Garrett said. “It gives you the opportunity to step back a little bit and engage in the other two aspects. Obviously, my role as the head coach, if I’m not the play-caller, will be significant.
Jones said that removing play-calling from Garrett's game-day responsibilities should not be viewed as a negative.
“It’s not a step back for Jason. It’s actually a step forward for Jason in my mind,” Jones said. “Make no mistake about it, when I hired Jason to come into the organization as a coach he was hired specifically for his skills for his abilities to call the plays. When he became the head coach, it was at my insistence that he continue to call the plays. It was not at Jason’s insistence. It is not a step back for the Cowboys or a step back individually for him to change the way we basically are putting our game plan together or are calling the plays on the offensive side of the ball. As you well know, differences in opinion can frankly be a step in a better direction.”
Callahan's 14-year resume includes four years (1998-2001) calling plays for the Oakland Raiders. Former Raiders wide receiver Tim Browns repeated a story Tuesday that implies Callahan's decision to change the offensive game plan prior to Super Bowl XXXVII "sabotaged"
the team's chances to beat Tamp Bay.