Mort: Jones is pushing Garrett to give up play-calling duties


Changes have indeed come to Valley Ranch.

Apart from the departure of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and the change in philosophy from 3-4 to 4-3 with the arrival of Monte Kiffin, more seismic shifts are possible.

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, owner Jerry Jones is pushing coach Jason Garrett to relinquish play-calling duties.  Per Mort, Jones also may be trying to get Garrett to fire his brother, tight ends coach John Garrett.

Mort says John Garrett is calling around the league regarding other available jobs.  Which could indeed means that John Garrett fears his brother will fire him.

It also could mean that the Princeton-educated Garretts sense that Jones is trying to provoke a showdown that will result in Jason Garrett leaving as the head coach without Jones flat-out firing him.  Indeed, it’s one thing for Jones to roll out of bed one morning and decide to make a coaching change.  It’s quite another for Jones to want his head coach to make changes and for his coach to resist, creating an impasse that leads to only one logical conclusion.

Even if Jones is simply laying the foundation to justify a Jason-Garrett-for-Jon-Gruden swap, the issue of play-calling is legitimate.  Too many times over the last two years has Garrett been unable to spin the big-picture plate of clock-management with the small-picture task of deciding what the next play will be.  If, as I think I said at one point this year on Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network, you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, don’t try.

So regardless of whether Jones is trying to nudge out Jason Garrett, there’s still a chance he’ll be gone sooner rather than later.

57 responses to “Mort: Jones is pushing Garrett to give up play-calling duties

  1. So fire the DC who took the defense from last to middle of the pack/respectable with a ton of injuries and bring in a guy older than the NFL itself to run the D.

    THEN fire the TE coach after Witten has a better than average year and has proven to be one of the best TE’s in the league with a middle of the road QB at best getting him the ball.

    No drug test needed, we’ve seen enough.

  2. If Jerrah fires Garrett, he has to pay his contract, but if Garrett leaves on his own, Jerrah saves a few bucks.

    Jason Garrett has proven to be a terrible play caller, and has an even worse sense of clock management than Andy Reid. Getting a decent OC to call plays would definitely be a step in the right direction.

    Of course, the smart thing to do would be to hire a real GM, and let him run the team.

  3. Jerry has all of the leverage here. What has Jason ever done that would put him in any position of power? He either falls in line with what Jones wants or he most likely will be shown the door.

    As for John Garrett, that is the problem with relatives working together in the sports world. It is very difficult to separate business from family.

  4. For most of Garrett’s tenure as OC the Cowboys’ offense has seemed disjointed and desperate to make any play, no matter the down — never attacking the defenses’ weaknesses nor exploiting their own strengths. At this point it would be better for Garrett to simply go, since the last couple of drafts brought in defensive players built for a system that the Cowboys will no longer use.

  5. No HC should be calling plays on either side of the ball – be heavily involved during the week but on game day your job is to manage the overall game – timeouts, run / pass balance etc etc. Leave the paly calling to your co-ordinators.

  6. And that push would only have to be about the equivalent of me closing my microwave coming from Jerry himself. Maybe even a little “AHEM” next time Garrett calls a play.

  7. Garrett may wait for Jones to fire him. Not only will he get more money that way, but Garrett may be just smart enough to realize that he has nowhere to go. It’s not as if he’s qualified to do anything in the league other than be “former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett”.

  8. Having someone else besides Garrett call plays is a good idea. It was announced before Ryan was fired that they’d be getting someone else to call plays, and reported on this site.

    Garrett is a good leader of men, but has shown he is not one of the best 32 x’s and o’s guys.

  9. Just another example of Jerry taking a page out of the Al Davis playbook. I’m not sure Al ever fired anyone without trying to say it was for cause and trying to get out of the rest of the contract.

    Cowboys fans, take a look at the Al Davis years from the early 90’s on and study up; that’s what you’re getting…

  10. I’m not usually a huge fan of HCs being playcallers but of course McCarthy and Payton are pretty darned good. Difference is they were both good BEFORE they got to be HCs. When you aren’t very experienced as a playcaller, no way should you be trying to do it as a young/inexperienced HC. I think that was one of McDaniels’ big mistakes in Den.

    Can’t think of a single current HC who calls the defense though.

  11. Jerry Jones is a brilliant business man, but he is a terrible, terrible, terrible GM. When is this dope going to realize that he has micromanaged Dallas out of playoff relevance since the mid 90’s and they may have only climbed to greatness then because Jimmy Johnson made the trade of the century giving Herschel Walker to the Minnesota idiots for what amounts to usury in the everyday world.

  12. Jerry had his chances to snatch up Norv Turner and Lovie Smith. In 2 hires, he could have probably turned the franchise around enough that they’d at least be in the playoffs every year. Instead, he’s squabbling with Garrett like a child and trying to hire a dinosaur to run the defense. The circus never stops.

  13. Dallas is a mess, but it looks like Jerry wants to hire an offensive coordinator to call plays and Garrett just handle responsibility of being the head coach and IMO..Jason Garrett isn’t head coach material and that’s confirmed by Jimmy Johnson…ahhhh, the drama continues in Dallas..

  14. teal379 says:Jan 12, 2013 12:11 PM

    So fire the DC who took the defense from last to middle of the pack/respectable with a ton of injuries and bring in a guy older than the NFL itself to run the D.

    THEN fire the TE coach after Witten has a better than average year and has proven to be one of the best TE’s in the league with a middle of the road QB at best getting him the ball.

    Did you see any of the games or are you just being a parrot. I’m sure you notice when we had opponents sitting at 3rd and 15, 3rd and 20 only to see a 2 or 3 man pass rush and everyone else playing zone. Yes a 2 man rush. How about when it was 3rd and 3 , 3rd and 5 only to have Claiborne or Carr playing 10 yards back.

    As far as John, Witten was a beast before he even showed up. If he is so gifted how come he couldn’t do anything with Martellus Bennett. Did you see what he did with the Giants. How about not developing John Phillips. But I’m sure you have all the answers that’s why teams are knocking at your door to offer you a job.

  15. here’s an idea: let Garrett call plays (60-plus decisions per game) and outsource timeout calling/challenging (at most, 9) to some piss ant assistant who’d give Garrett his “professional” recommendations for approval.

    lord knows Eagles fans would’ve gone for that the last 14 years.

  16. So we are saying what we already know. JG has to get us to playoffs or better otherwise Gruden is in for 2014.

  17. Jerry better get someone to call the offensive plays. We gave Jason long enough and he can’t do both! He failed at play calling and being an head coach. So he needs to do one or the other, or get the heck out!

  18. Mortensen is way off base again.

    Jones is “pushing” Garrett to give up play calling?
    “Trying” to get Garrett to fire his brother?

    What next, “emploring” Garrett to manage the clock better?
    “Begging” him to get Romo to be better when the chips are down?

  19. Great pic of Garrett used for this article. It looks like he’s telling Jerry “Oh NO you di’int” after being asked to give up OC duties.

  20. Jason Garrett should be fired for his predictable, terrible, playcalling, horrible time management skills, the lack of discipline and accountability on the team, and sub par performance as an OC and the Heach Coach. He alone lost 2-3 games this year and 4-5 last year. In regards to Jason brother, John, the TE coach, he most certainly should be fired. As a previous poster wrote, Witten had a great year – sure, but he always has, he is a veteran and should know how to play. Look at the lack of development of Bennett (now playing very well for their rival Giants) and, now, Hanna (rarely used, though very talented), and that is cause enough to fire him. Phillips was a terrible TE this year too, I thought he was supposed to be a future fixture at TE. Fire all of the Garretts, the entire family that have positioned themselves within the Cowboy organization.

  21. Didn’t that windbag refer to coaches who don’t call plays as “walkaround coaches” one of the times he was drunk and dissing Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells (due to his insecurity that the only time they have won it was because true football guys assembled the talent)?

  22. Jerra comes from that old school philosophy that people are nothing but disposal cogs and widgets, businesses are people too and being the wealthiest number one, at all costs, brings bliss and eternal life.

    I think Jason may be in the process of firing Mr Jones in his own way.

  23. mrcogburn says:
    Jan 12, 2013 1:23 PM

    Baltimore Fan, I wouldn’t gloat about not getting Garrett. You got even worse in Cameron.

    He was talking about Garrett as head coach instead of Harbaugh. Falcon fans feel the same way.

  24. Jerry is being silly here…instead of firing Garrett then getting Lovie as HC and Norville call the plays and get rolling..Jerry instead is trying to make Garrett quit to save Jerry one of the two years left on his contract… .Penny wise pound foolish…the team is worth. $1billion + and daddy warbucks is worried about 5 or 6 million ( cost of 1 yr of Garrett’s contract). Sure it’s Jers team and money but Garrett can’t coach and call plays at the same time…that’s clear so ake a move and get on with… Lovie will be HC next year for sure…after another 8-8 or 9-7 season.

  25. Jason Garrett is a good leader of a group of players but his play calling and offense was figured out after year 1. His schemes are obvious, he doesn’t mold any plays to his players strengths the run game is the worst in franchise history ( bad o-line yes). One of the biggest problems to me is his lack of awareness of talent and the ability to use it. We had Danny amendola on the roster, cut him now he’s poor mans Wes walker, Bennett flourished after he left, and I can almost guarantee Dwayne Harris, cole Beasley, and James Hanna could be used more and effectively with a good offense

  26. Why can’t we gloat, mrcogburn? Here we are playing in the Divisional match-ups for the 5th straight year with our “second tier” QB and our defense filled with creaky old men. If Garrett had delivered half that with his team of supermen, we would not be having this discussion.

  27. John Garrett should be fires, he’s a terrible coach! Witten is just a great player with or without John Garrett, but John failed to utilize Marty B and is, for some reason, keeping young James Hannah under wraps as the 3rd TE. Even though Hannah proved to be a mismatch in the middle if the field with his size and speed. The cowboys have been flat out terrible with Jason calling plays, they don’t run the ball and don’t take advantage of the other defenses weakness and never force themselves in a defense. The same old excuse “we take what the defense gives us” is stupid! The patriots and packers force the defense to contend with their offenses, the cowboys should be doing this too with witten an bryant. And he keeps putting the ball in Romo’s hands WITHOUT a running game!

  28. Didn’t Al Davis used to call down plays from the owner’s box sometimes? I can see Jerreh doing that.

  29. This whole thing reminds me of what happened to Jim Zorn in Washington. Lost play calling duties and was fired not too long after. Jerry Jones is the new Al Davis

  30. Love it! as long as the Jone’s family is involved…Dallas is going nowhere! Great news for the rest of the league. Turmoil, hatred and no trust does not breed continuity.

  31. This “showdown” between Jerry & Garrett is the most ridiculous media-contrived story of the week. Yeah, Garrett’s gonna give up a $10 mil nfl head coaching job for a TE coach. And for that matter, when has a TE coach or a RB coach made a damn bit of difference in the success or failure of a team? Be smarter than that, people. Mort & Werder are nothing but rumor mongerers.

  32. Dear Jerry :

    I think you should look at a little history to come to grips with the Dallas Cowboy situation. Take a quick peak at the Oakland Raiders in Mr. Davis’s sunset years. How has that worked out ? I don’t expect you to fire the G.M. . Oh, that’s right you are the G.M. Jon Gruden is still available and he turned Oakland around ,got fired by Mr. Davis and then won a Super Bowl with Tampa and destroyed the Raiders in that game. The Raiders have never recovered and occupy the lower strata of the NFL. Bring Gruden on board as part of the Dallas Organization . This is the best advise you will receive and you will regret letting this opportunity slip through your fingers. HIRE GRUDEN NOW !!

  33. OK 1.RGIII fiasco. rebuild in Philly.3.Dallas is a joke and an owner who knows NOTHING about football 4.Jets lol haha lmao lol sorry I couldn’t even finish that one 5 Giants 2 Superbowl wins in last 5 years.As a giant fan this is just as good as it gets Agreed NY giant nation?

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