Last week the Dallas Cowboys defense got some of the ‘uncomfortable’ treatment owner Jerry Jones said was coming, so this week it makes sense that the focus has now shifted to the offense. There are plenty of questions that need to be answered on that side of the ball and Cowboys fans are waiting to see what, if anything, will happen.
The changes Jones spoke about could not have been just for the defense. He most certainly is going to change the person who calls plays on offense, it’s just a matter of who. Allowing Jason Garrett to stay as the offensive coordinator and play caller for the Cowboys offense hasn’t worked since he’s taken over as coach and will not work moving forward, so what must be done?
For starters, he can give Bill Callahan the offensive coordinator’s job and let him call the plays. This is the best case scenario since he and Garrett get along and the players are familiar with Callahan already; continuity can be key in getting your message across and keeping Callahan does that.
I am well aware that Callahan didn’t do the best job with the Cowboys offensive line this season but it was only his first year in working with these players and in fairness to him, the talent level is sub-par. Doug Free regressed, Tyron Smith was learning a new position, there was injuries and inconsistencies at center and Mackenzie Bernadeau has now stunk in two cities so it maybe time to realize that he can’t play. These are not excuses because there should be no more of those but giving up on a guy trying to figure out what his players are capable of after one year isn’t very smart. It should also be noted the Dallas offensive line did play better later in the year.
The struggling offensive line also brings me to my point as to why the Cowboys should hire Callahan as their offensive coordinator, the West Coast offense. It’s built on shorter passes, timing and a horizontal passing game. If your offensive line struggles, what better way to keep pressure off of your quarterback than with shorter passes and routes? It would be a change from Garrett’s offense but not a major shift the Cowboys couldn’t adapt to.
The Cowboys already have the pieces to fit the West Coast offense; they have a running back who has very good hands, a quarterback who is very accurate and the receivers who have the ability to break tackles for long gains, which actually fits into Miles Austin’s game extremely well. Most importantly, it will get the ball out of Tony Romo’s hands faster and keep him healthy. It also fits into Garrett’s style of throwing the ball and being aggressive.
Appointing Callahan as the Cowboys offensive coordinator would open up a spot on the Cowboys offensive coaching staff because if you don’t want Garrett doing more than one job, you shouldn’t want Callahan doing more than one job either. So the next thing Jones should do is hire an offensive line coach, and would you look at who’s available, former line coach Tony Sparano. Sparano’s specialty is coaching the offensive line and the Cowboys were very successful with decent running backs and average offensive linemen in Dallas from 2003-2007. He is someone who isn’t coach material but he’s a very good teacher and a motivator for the offensive line.
These moves would make perfect sense for the Cowboys because it would solve all their questions as of right now. The Cowboys would have Jason Garrett as the head coach, a new offensive coordinator who’s been in Dallas a year and a top notch offensive line coach to help a struggling unit. It also brings a new look and creativity to the Cowboys offense, something they haven’t had since 2007 when Garrett was named the offensive coordinator. What more could you want?
No everything is complicated and I’m not saying this is the only way the Cowboys can move forward with their offense but I do think it’s the best the way. Jones promised changes, well, what better way to change than to make the same philosophical on offense that they made on defense.
These changes are needed, unless being average is something the rest of the Dallas Cowboys are OK with.
you can contact or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi