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Jones says taking keys from Garrett “actually a step forward”

Jason Garrett AP

Even though Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett rose to his current job by calling his own plays, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said it wasn’t a demotion to have those duties taken away.

Jones said earlier today that Garrett will no longer call plays, with every indication that offensive coordinator/line coach Bill Callahan would take over those duties.

“It’s not a step back for Jason. It’s actually a step forward for Jason in my mind,” Jones said, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. “Make no mistake about it, when I hired Jason to come into the organization as a coach he was hired specifically for his skills for his abilities to call the plays. When he became the head coach, it was at my insistence that he continue to call the plays. It was not at Jason’s insistence.

“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.”

Prior to Jones talking, Garrett himself said he was open to changes, also indicating that Callahan was the guy.

“I’ve never been a guy where it’s been hell or high water that I’m going to call the plays,” Garrett said. “I’ve been on teams where it’s worked a lot of different ways. This idea that there’s no way you can call plays and handle the game situations, . . . we’ve come back in a lot of games and handled game situations really well and sometimes we haven’t handled them as well.

“It’s my responsibility and I have to make sure we do it better. Watch the games. Coaches who don’t call the plays don’t have the corner on handling game situations the right way. But having said that, that’s an added responsibility that you have during games that you have to manage and work through.”

Jones can spin it any way he likes, and Garrett can smile and nod and play along and collect a handsome salary. After all, play-calling was the thing Garrett was good at, and the reason he got the job to begin with. There have been times he looked lost handling in-game situations, although he drew high marks for his handling of the Josh Brent situation late in the year.

Still, it’s hard to view it as anything but Jones cutting the legs out from under Garrett (especially with Garrett’s brother leaving for and/or being nudged to a lateral move), and the precursor to the eventual next move Jones makes with his head coach.

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34 Responses to “Jones says taking keys from Garrett “actually a step forward””
  1. steelerben says: Jan 22, 2013 2:51 PM

    It isn’t a step backwards, it is a step forwards. Towards the door. With his bags packed.

  2. lightcleric says: Jan 22, 2013 2:52 PM

    I don’t think it matters who you have calling plays because at the end of the game you’re just deciding who Romo is looking at when he throws a bad interception.

  3. bobhk says: Jan 22, 2013 2:56 PM

    This is down right funny

  4. mjbulls45 says: Jan 22, 2013 2:57 PM

    im not saying callahan sabatoged the raiders superbowl,

    but he did get blown out with a team of hall of famers & classic players – rod woodson, jerry rice, bill romo, charles woodson, tim brown, charlie garner, gannon mvp year, eric allen, jon richie,

    etc.

    good luck dallas. good players, no coaches , the 1 coach they had rob ryan they got rid of,

    and callahan is far from a players coach, charles woodson had to be seperated from him,

    charles woodson.

  5. gator2006 says: Jan 22, 2013 2:59 PM

    One step out the door.

  6. mignovus says: Jan 22, 2013 3:00 PM

    I’m a Cowboys fan, but if Jerry promotes Bill Callahan to head coach whenever Jason gets fired next year… that may be the final straw.

  7. ndrocks2 says: Jan 22, 2013 3:02 PM

    Yeah having Callahan call the plays is the answer. Good job Jerry!!!

    None of this matters as long as Jones & his son are running the team as GM & GM jr. Sad that this dude can’t see what a joke he is playing GM. Most expensive franchise in sports and he is barely 500 at home and hasn’t won a playoff game in years.

  8. milesrunner262 says: Jan 22, 2013 3:05 PM

    In 30+ years I have never wavered in my support for the Cowboys…until this offseason. Jerry is setting 2013 up to be his success (for all the changes HE made) or Jason’s failure (for his inability to take the “great” pieces he was given and win).

  9. mangycougar says: Jan 22, 2013 3:05 PM

    In the world of Tim Brown, Jerry Jones may be trying to sabotage his own team…

  10. umainebearman says: Jan 22, 2013 3:07 PM

    Wow way to end a story filled with popular perception. Of course no one on this page actually knows anything about the coaching staff in Dallas or how they work because you are all sheep to sportscenter and nfl.com and this place. Perception thats all you people that follow other teams have and thats why you get the moronic comments like the ones above.

  11. sadskinsfan89 says: Jan 22, 2013 3:07 PM

    Wow. What a joke. The cowboys will never win anything with this clown in charge. He is completely over riding everyone he puts in charge.

  12. alewatcher says: Jan 22, 2013 3:08 PM

    An even bigger step forward would be hiring a GM.

  13. questionableprovenance says: Jan 22, 2013 3:09 PM

    A step forward is not necessarily a positive development when you’re standing at edge of a cliff.

  14. fuglyflorio says: Jan 22, 2013 3:09 PM

    Poor Garrett … he’s being made to look like such a fool.

  15. RoofDude says: Jan 22, 2013 3:11 PM

    Garrett will not be the HC in 2014.

  16. bigkat74 says: Jan 22, 2013 3:16 PM

    What I don’t understand is why now there is so much love for Garrett as a play caller from the media and fans. All last season and early this season there was this big clamor for Jerry to take the duties away from Garrett. Hell the great Cowboys’ messiah Jimmy Johnson even did his big spill on the fox show saying how Garrett needs someone else calling plays so he could focus on being the Head Coach. Media and fans laughed at Jerry and said he was crazy for his belief that a head coach should be calling the plays on either the offense or defense. Fast forward to now and a new play caller is being brought in, now Jerry is cutting Garrett’s legs from under him, he is neutering his head coach…
    As for Garrett’s brother, what is it that he did so great while being a part of this staff that he should be absolved from any changes or upgrades being made? Can’t answer with Witten, Witten was great before John Garrett what did Garrett do with Phillips, Bennett, Hanna? Who has he developed to push or challenge Witten?
    Im not a big Jerry fan but it seems that no matter what decision he makes the media and fans are going to jump all over him and say he is wrong, even when he does what they say he should do….

  17. folkcrusader says: Jan 22, 2013 3:21 PM

    There is only one decision maker in Dallas. All the rest is just smoke to obscure that fact.

  18. larrybrown43 says: Jan 22, 2013 3:22 PM

    How did Jerry Jones get to be so wealthy with such poor people/managerial skills.

  19. nothinbutathang says: Jan 22, 2013 3:25 PM

    Someone needs to take the keys from Jerry Jones. But it’s always fun to watch a train wreck.

  20. eyeh8goodell says: Jan 22, 2013 3:34 PM

    Even Al Davis didn’t meddle this much. Jerry Jones has successfully made Al Davis look like the much lesser of two evils.

  21. riverace19 says: Jan 22, 2013 3:34 PM

    Poor Garrett nothing… he was hired to be a stooge and that is what he is becoming… next year the Cowboys will have to be creative to hide Jones’ hand on the sideline that controls his puppet head coach.
    I don’t mind it one bit.. it’s fun to laugh at a once-great organization erode and crumble into the rubble at the hands of ONE PERSON.
    The days of Tom Landry are so far gone they are a distant memory… too bad.

  22. dalucks says: Jan 22, 2013 3:43 PM

    I agree with Jerry. Jerry took the keys and he is letting Garrett ride in the car when Garrett should probably be kicked out of the car to find his own ride.

  23. pesh00 says: Jan 22, 2013 3:55 PM

    bigkat74 says:
    Jan 22, 2013 3:16 PM
    What I don’t understand is why now there is so much love for Garrett as a play caller from the media and fans. All last season and early this season there was this big clamor for Jerry to take the duties away from Garrett. Hell the great Cowboys’ messiah Jimmy Johnson even did his big spill on the fox show saying how Garrett needs someone else calling plays so he could focus on being the Head Coach. Media and fans laughed at Jerry and said he was crazy for his belief that a head coach should be calling the plays on either the offense or defense. Fast forward to now and a new play caller is being brought in, now Jerry is cutting Garrett’s legs from under him, he is neutering his head coach…
    As for Garrett’s brother, what is it that he did so great while being a part of this staff that he should be absolved from any changes or upgrades being made? Can’t answer with Witten, Witten was great before John Garrett what did Garrett do with Phillips, Bennett, Hanna? Who has he developed to push or challenge Witten?
    Im not a big Jerry fan but it seems that no matter what decision he makes the media and fans are going to jump all over him and say he is wrong, even when he does what they say he should do….

    ……………………….
    Amen brotha…damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  24. salmd says: Jan 22, 2013 4:11 PM

    I think Norv Turner is available!

  25. nnagi says: Jan 22, 2013 4:15 PM

    seriously Jerry, you want people to think you’re a football guy when you keep interfering like you do, seriously?

  26. marylandcowboy says: Jan 22, 2013 4:17 PM

    I wonder if Jerry and Stephan might be interested in John Gruden as a head coach. Bringing in Kiffin and teaming him up with Gruden could be very interesting, and it would make a huge P.R. splash which Jerry loves. I am not saying it’s going to happen but I wonder how many times the thought has gone through ole JJ’s mind.

  27. bobhk says: Jan 22, 2013 4:29 PM

    Jones says: “Make no mistake about it, when I hired Jason to come into the organization as a coach he was hired specifically for his skills for his abilities to call the plays. ”

    Title of the article says: Jones says taking keys (read play calling) from Garrett a step forward.

    Step forward for who?

  28. amaf21 says: Jan 22, 2013 4:39 PM

    Yes right. Just ask Jim Zorn.

  29. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 22, 2013 4:43 PM

    Hey Jason, the next step after “taking away the keys” is usually “cutting your allowance”. Remember?

  30. dawkinsalwaysaneagle says: Jan 22, 2013 4:49 PM

    Callahan is promoted to head coach… “But that’s not a demotion for Jason, it’s really a positive step forward for him” haha

  31. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 22, 2013 6:45 PM

    Perhaps now Jason will become a better clock manager. At least he better because he is out of excuses.

  32. cowboylover says: Jan 22, 2013 8:32 PM

    ndrocks2—yeah, it’s been years since our last playoff win. 2010.

  33. fdugrad says: Jan 22, 2013 8:58 PM

    I can already hear Jerah saying directly after he fires coach Garrett, that it is ACTUALLY a step forward!! Truth be told, it really WILL be a step forward towards Garrett seeking his long-lost self respect. JJ really knows how to suck the life, right down to the marrow out of all who dare to become HC of the ‘Boys. It is TRULY painful to watch.

  34. moturnovers24 says: Jan 22, 2013 9:07 PM

    Dear god y not just fire him no instead of making us suffer with another year of losing we have all of gruden staff just pay John some crazy money and get this show on the road for the love of god Jerry unless u want a top ten pick and gruden next yr

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