The Dallas Cowboys made a meaningless move on Thursday by naming Bill Callahan offensive coordinator. Anyone with any knowledge of the team knows that’s a bunch of baloney. Callahan was hired as the Cowboys’ new offensive line coach and this latest “title” is pointless because he won’t call the offensive plays for Dallas; that duty still belongs to Jason Garrett. Let’s delve into what this really means for the Cowboys, which includes a potential positive aspect.
Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones is determined that his head coach will call either offensive or defensive plays from now on. The only Cowboys coaches under Jones to not call plays were the two that won Super Bowls, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. Starting with Chan Gailey, Jones began including in all his coaches’ contracts (except Bill Parcells) that they are required to call plays.
So why make Callahan the offensive coordinator? There are two possible reasons, one being a very beneficial for the Cowboys and the other being pointless. Call me a scrooge, but I’m going with the latter.
Dallas could use Callahan’s 14 years of NFL experience to make this team more complete. Although he’s not calling the offensive plays, he could really take some of the offensive responsibility from Garrett during the week. This might include running certain offensive meetings or designing all the Cowboys’ running plays. This would allow Garrett to pay more attention to the rest of him team and staff.
The Cowboys would be way better off if Garrett had more time to poke his head in the door of Rob Ryan’s defensive meetings and Joe DeCamillis’ special teams sessions. For the most part, the Cowboys did not succeed with Wade Phillips running the Cowboys’ defense and Garrett running the offense. An NFL team’s head coach has to be involved with the entire team so it has one identity, not two.
Now is that going to happen? Probably not, but I suppose we can hope. The real reason Jones named Callahan offensive coordinator was to get the media off his and Garrett’s back. However, that’s still not going to happen because the title means nothing.
Before Hudson Houck retired, he was asked if his additional 2011 title of “running game coordinator” meant anything and he said it did not and his responsibilities hadn’t changed from the previous season. The Cowboys naming Callahan offensive coordinator is the same thing; Jones thinks that title will somehow make us believe all problems are solved. However, that’s not the case unless Garrett actually gives Callahan some responsibility and starts becoming more involved in the Cowboys’ defense and special teams.
Jerry Jones believes that coaches who don’t call plays aren’t complete coaches; he calls them “walk-around coaches” and recently used that phrase to describe Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells. He can believe what he wants, but those are Super Bowl-winning coaches who knew what they were doing. If you don’t think Jerry Jones is in the way of the Cowboys’ success after that little remark and this Callahan nonsense, you might be as loony as him.
Follow Jeric Griffin on Twitter @JericGriffin