The Dallas Cowboys haven't played football in weeks, but Jerry Jones has found his way back into the news cycle with Tuesday's announcement that coach Jason Garrett no longer will call plays on offense.
Jones, the team's longtime owner and general manager, later explained his decision to shift that responsibility away from Garrett. Jones didn't confirm Bill Callahan would adopt those duties, but multiple reports peg the offensive line coach/coordinator for the job.
"It was me that (initially) said, now as head coach, I want you (Garrett) to call the plays," Jones told NFL Network during Tuesday's "Senior Bowl Recap Show" in Mobile, Ala. "Joe Gibbs had told me, when I was visiting with him about a head coach, he said, 'I think it's great if they can be the coordinator on one side of the ball or the other.' Now, times have changed since that time -- gotten more complicated -- and I've had a lot of people say, Jason needs to have the overall picture.
"Having said that, Jason has never said, 'Boy, that's a prerequisite, I want to call the plays. I want to be there.' So, anything we do here that basically takes that responsibility, moves it away from him -- let's say, calling the play or putting a game plan together, but gives it over to the overall team -- is a positive thing. And he is not only for it, he is encouraging it."
If Garrett is encouraging this, it's because he has no other choice. This is a public demotion, no matter how the Cowboys phrase the wording. Jones says "times have changed," as if the landscape has been altered dramatically since Garrett took over so long ago -- in 2010. This isn't about evolution, it's about Garrett's withering grasp over his future with the Cowboys.
Jones, as promised, has shaken up the team in recent weeks. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired during his island getaway in favor of Monte Kiffin. The Cowboys have now reportedly promoted Callahan -- never known as a storied play-caller -- from within.
"Don't think we're throwing all the water out," Jones said. "We've got a lot of things about our team -- the problem is a deal called 8-8."
That's been a problem during both of Garrett's full seasons coaching the team. If it's a problem that repeats itself again, Garrett is bound to lose more than his play-calling duties in Dallas.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.