IRVING, Texas – The bye week is used for a lot of things.
Getting rest and healing some injuries typically top the list. It’s also a time to reassess both sides of the ball and make necessary tweaks and changes that might help the team for the final stretch of the season.
But it can also be the time to make bigger philosophical changes as well.
Although, head coach Jason Garrett said again on Monday that he doesn’t anticipate making big changes in regards to the play-calling duties, which are currently assigned to offensive coordinator Bill Callahan.
However, Garrett said he has been a little more involved in the offense than he was earlier in the season, even admitting to spending more time with the offensive side of the ball in practice on Monday and the lone practice the team had last week on Wednesday.
“I was down there a little more the last couple of days,” Garrett said. "I typically move all over the practice field and just dive in and coach, help out, do what I can do to make our team better.”
When asked Monday if Garrett and the staff had held any discussions regarding possible changes to the play-calling or even putting Callahan down from the coaches booth to the field, Garrett said there has been a few debates.
“We’ve had discussions about all that kind of stuff,” Garrett said. “(But) we don’t anticipate a whole lot changing in that regard. We don’t want to get into all that stuff.”
Garrett said last week he could make the change to resume play-calling duties – as he’s did since 2007 when he was coordinator – if he desired. But as of last week, he didn’t seem interested in removing Callahan from the duties. And owner/GM Jerry Jones also echoed those sentiments, stating he didn’t foresee such changes.
With Garrett as the offensive coordinator, the Cowboys have never finished a season ranked lower than 13th in total offense. This year, they are 17th in offense, averaging 327.8 yards per game.
Last week against the Saints, the Cowboys were 0-9 on third downs and now rank 28th in the league with just a 32.7 percent conversion rate.
But despite the flaws on offense, the focus doesn’t seem to be on changes, but rather facing a Giants team that has won four straight games. Once 0-6 and all but written off, the Giants have scrambled their way back into the NFC East race, just a game-and-a-half behind Philly and only one back from the Cowboys, who did beat them in Week 1, 36-31 at AT&T Stadium.
In that game, the Giants turned the ball over six times, including three interceptions by Eli Manning, who suffered his first loss in the stadium after winning his first four starts there. However, Garrett said he doesn’t see major changes in the way the Giants look now than earlier in the year.
“They have different guys playing. They’ve had some injuries, so you see some different faces,” Garrett said of the Giants. “But we’ll go back and we’ll watch a lot of the games from Week 1 all the way up to now. So we’ll see some games where they were losing some games, and we’ll see some games where they’ve been winning. So you try to kind of work your way through that. But I don’t know that they’ve changed their scheme dramatically. You do see some new faces because of injury, but a lot of the same faces are there.”
Garrett said it’s more about the Giants’ execution than anything.
“I think they’re doing things that winning football teams do,” Garrett said. “They’ve been a good football team for a long time, they’ve got a lot of good players. When you play winning football and you have talented players on your team and you’re well coached, typically you’re going to win more than you don’t. They’ve done a good job fighting themselves out of this 0-6 situation, but we’ve played against them a lot in the past and we know what kind of people they have up there, what kind of talent they have. So it doesn’t surprise us one bit.”