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Eatman: This Has Nothing To Do With Actual Play-Calling

Posted Jun 5, 2013


In four years of covering Bill Parcells, no one really knew exactly who called the plays. Oh, people had their theories, like Tony Sparano did so for a while and then Sean Payton also had a hand in it. Maybe his first offensive coordinator, Maurice Carthon, sent the plays in.

What I always heard was Parcells would tell the “play-caller” he wanted to go deep or to run Aveion Cason to the outside and then it was their job to figure out a few plays from the script to run. So who was the real play-caller there? No one knew and that’s how Parcells wanted it.

And honestly, no one really cared.

My point is that all the hoopla that took place yesterday at Valley Ranch that caused more national headlines really has nothing to do with the play-caller. Honestly, I don’t think any of Tuesday’s bulldogs really care at all who sends in “X, right, 23 Flash, Double-Dip, Geronimo-Hitch & Pitch … on two.”

Other than knowing who to point blame to come September, no one really cares if Bill Callahan sends in the play or if Jason Garrett will be calling it again, or if Tony Romo will call his own plays from the huddle.

This once again comes down to authority. It always stems back to Jerry Jones. Every single inch of criticism about this team is pointed at Jerry, indirectly or not. Every gripe about Romo, in my opinion, is a dig at Jerry for making him his franchise quarterback. All the negative remarks about guys like Free and Austin – again blaming Jerry for paying them.

Anything about Garrett and his play-calling or game-management – once again stems from Jerry’s “hire.”

So with Jerry coming out Tuesday and strongly hinting Callahan would call the plays, and then Callahan eventually admitting as much a few minutes later, it gives everyone another chance to talk about the owner controlling the team and the head coach just playing along.

Hello, welcome to Valley Ranch.

It’s funny to me how people continue to act amazed how things work around here. Nothing new since 1989.

Did we raise our eyebrows every time Michael Jordan hit a clutch basket? Do we get shocked to find out its 105 degrees every day in Texas during July? At some point, you just kind of realize this is how things work – take it or leave it.

I’m not saying it’s not a problem. I wouldn’t really know if what Jerry says affects what Jason does. How would any of us know that?

We like to think it affects chemistry. We like to think it undermines what Jason is trying to sell. But then again, this team could be 8-8 because the players are just average, therefore the team is average. Or it could be all of the above and then a few others things we never even realize or talk about.

I guess my point is that “play-calling” was the latest issue to spark the flames here this week, but in reality, it’s just another chapter in a long novel that hasn’t changed in 24 years. And there are no signs that it ever will.

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