Fresh off the wire

Jerry Jones: Jason Garrett won't call Cowboys' plays


The uncomfortable offseason in Dallas continues. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that coach Jason Garrett will no longer hold the offensive play-calling duties.

Calvin Watkins of passes along word straight from Jones at the Senior Bowl, where Jones announced that Garrett will no longer call plays. Jones strongly intimated that offensive line coach/coordinator Bill Callahan will call the plays moving forward. Multiple Cowboys reporters said Callahan will be the play-caller, although that's not officially confirmed. (We'll assume that Callahan won't sabotage things.)

"When he became head coach, it was at my insistence that he continued to call the plays, and I felt that philosophically ... It was not at Jason's insistence," Jones said. "So if we make a change there, it will be more of a concession on my part to go forward with a little different procedure."

And later: "It's not a step back for Jason. It's actually a step forward for Jason in my mind.

"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."

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That's spin if we ever heard it. It's a step back for Garrett. He said publicly he planned to keep calling plays and wanted to do so. Now Jones is telling him it's not going to happen. Multiple reports suggested after the season that Jones was looking around the league for a play-caller to take that duty off Garrett's plate so he could focus on "managing" the team. Instead of hiring from the outside, the Cowboys will give Callahan more responsibilities.

It makes no sense on a number of levels. Essentially, Jones is neutering his head coach. Callahan doesn't have a long history as a play-caller and is more familiar with the running game. It's almost like he's trying to make Garrett quit.

Jones went into the offseason wanting change for the sake of change. Monte Kiffin was a curious hire as defensive coordinator. If Jones wanted to go this far, he should have just fired Garrett at the end of the season.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.