ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 6: Head Coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys yells at the officials during a game against the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. The Broncos defeated the Cowboys 51-48. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Sorry, but I’m skeptical about the Cowboys’ offensive play-calling.
Remember a year ago when head coach Jason Garrett finally admitted that Bill Callahan would call plays in 2013? But it was Callahan calling Garrett’s plays. Or, as Callahan put it, was it basically a comprehensive “Cowboys offense”?
Whatever, it didn’t work. Miles Austin regressed and Tony Romo was harassed and Gavin Escobar didn’t develop and the Cowboys were a pitiful 35 percent on third downs in another 8-8 season.
Now, things are supposed to be different. More simple. Better.
Owner Jerry Jones says new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will call his own plays. Callahan is out of the mix and Garrett will take a significant step back. Garrett, at this week’s owners meetings, is at least saying all the right things about an arrangement he helped pick.
“We’re excited about Scott Linehan,” Garrett said at his press conference. “He and I worked together with the Dolphins, he was the coordinator and I was the quarterbacks coach. My first exposure to coaching was under him and he and I have very similar philosophies about offensive football and how we do things.”
Sounds great. Makes sense. But … with your job on the line in the final year of your contract the last thing you want to do is take a step back. Linehan’s offense in Detroit averaged 408 yards per game last season, third-best in the NFL.
The question is whether Garrett truly trust his friend to run his offense. And, of course, whether Linehan’s plays can help the Cowboys get to nine wins, and perhaps the playoffs.
“We have a lot of confidence in our offensive coaching staff,” Garrett continued. “I’m certainly going to still be connected with them and communicate very closely with them on how we are doing things and share some of my thoughts on it. Hear some of their thoughts and decide what’s best for our football team. But I have a lot of confidence in Scott Linehan, a lot of confidence in Bill Callahan and the whole offensive staff to do things the way we want to do them.”
Sounds great in theory. But we have our doubts, don’t we?
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.