Exclusive: Cowboys Clarity - 'Kellen Moore Calls The Plays,' says Coach Jason Garrett
FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys had complex problems in Sunday night’s 28-24 home loss to Minnesota and as a result have complex problems going forward. But there is new clarity in one area.
“Kellen (Moore) is calling the game,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said very clearly when Shan Shariff and I quizzed him Monday morning on 105.3 The Fan, later adding to our questions about “roles and infrastructure,” “We just try to communicate as an offensive staff. I certainly have input throughout the ballgame. Situationally, I have input. That’s how we’ve operated all year long and that’s how we operated (Sunday) night."
Technically, this isn’t “new” information; colleague Bryan Broaddus and I have for a month detailed the process and dismissed the lazy idea that the oft-beleaguered Garrett “calls all the bad plays” while 31-year-old rookie coordinator “calls all the good ones.”
But no, there isn't a "Red Devil'' (Garrett) on one shoulder of the offense and a "Cherubic Angel'' (Moore) on the other. The simple fact: It’s a collaborative effort, with Garrett ultimately most responsible for the results. Dallas (now 5-4) came into this one ranked as a top-five NFL offense in yardage and points, and that probably won’t change; Dak Prescott threw for 397 yards and three touchdowns and his Amari Cooper-lead receiving corps was brilliant.
But the Vikings (7-3) shut down the Cowboys' run game, allowing just 50 total yards on 22 carries, including two late-game failures that represent standard operating procedure for a Dallas coaching staff that still suffers from what I’ve labeled “institutionalized stubbornness.”
"In that situation it’s second and 2,'' Garrett recalled to us. "(Moore) felt like he had a good opportunity against a favorable box to run the ball in those situations. On each of those plays we had options beyond just the run.”
That issue of "options'' is another complexity here; the QB is involved in line-of-scrimmage decisions that can backfire, too. Garrett's honestly here isn't about "throwing others under the bus''; I'm known the man for more than a quarter of a century - that's not his style. Nor is it the first crack of a relationship earthquake within the staff. It's simply RedBall being revealingly honest.
But what all of this is, is the product of the way Jason Garrett oversees the game plan. And it’s part of the way Kellen Moore oversees the play-calling. Meaning there is plenty of blame - and now clarity - to go around.