It’s good to see that Cowboys coach Jason Garrett hasn’t become complacent, now that he knows he’ll be back in 2014. Or maybe it’s good to know that he realizes Jerry Jones’ commitment to a Garrett return next season is meaningless.
Either way, Garrett has emerged from the bye with a new approach on offense. According to Ed Werder of ESPN, Garrett will be back in the head (Werder) of quarterback Tony Romo.
Specifically, Garrett will be talking to Romo via the speaker in the quarterback’s helmet, even though offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will continue to call the plays. Previously this season, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson relayed the plays from Callahan to Romo.
The change means that Garrett will, as a practical matter, have a chance to call an audible after Callahan communicates the play to Garrett.
Here’s the problem. We’ve seen in the past that Garrett at times struggles when juggling the macro of being the head coach with the micro of calling plays.
“That’s one of the problems with head coaches calling the plays,” former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy previously told PFT regarding Garrett’s periodic inability to walk and chew gum. “They lose track of game management.”
With Garrett now directly involved in communicating the play to Romo, it’s one more thing for the head coach to worry about while he’s trying to worry about the big picture, like the time left of the clock, the number of time outs, and the other things a head coach does during a game.
Our guess? Despite Jones’ commitment to Garrett, the third-year coach knows he’s coaching for his job — and if he’s going to go down, he’s going to go down calling the plays.
Or perhaps icing his own kicker.