The Dallas Cowboys are a confusing franchise. They make decisions that leave fans scratching their heads. Sometimes those decisions are over the players they sign or draft, sometimes over in-game coaching decisions and sometimes, as is the case this week, it is over who is on the coaching staff.
When most teams hire a new offensive or defensive coordinator, the previous coordinator is let go. The Cowboys, however, are not your normal NFL franchise. When the Cowboys bring in a new coordinator, they keep the previous coordinator and just change their title.
Let’s start with the offense. Dallas has hired Scott Linehan, whose title is passing game coordinator and play caller. Bill Callahan will keep the title of offensive coordinator. Callahan will also be the run game coordinator. Head coach Jason Garrett and QB Tony Romo will still have some say in the offense as well.
There was a lot of speculation last season that neither Callahan nor Garrett were happy with the situation. If Callahan was not happy last season, I cannot imagine he will be happy with his play calling duties being stripped away.
Besides the potential drama in the coaches’ meetings with that many offensive minds, I see a much bigger problem. If an offensive player has a question or an issue, who do they go to? Do they go to the offensive coordinator, or do they go to the play caller? Do they go to the head coach? Maybe they bypass all the coaches and go to the QB since he has final say before the ball is snapped.
The defensive side of the coaching staff is not as complicated, but is still confusing in its own right. Rod Marinelli is the new defensive coordinator, and Monte Kiffin has been demoted — or has he? First, let me just say that I believe Marinelli will make the Cowboys’ defense better. It was a smart move to promote him to that position. The confusing part is what Dallas did with Kiffin.
Kiffin, who coordinated the worst defense in franchise history, will now be the assistant head coach. So, let me get this straight. Kiffin is not good enough to run your defense, but he is good enough to be your assistant head coach? Normally, it would be surprising to see a team have a confusing coaching carousel within its own organization; but then again, we are talking about the most confusing franchise in all of sports, so maybe we should not be surprised at all.