IRVING, Texas – In an offseason that included a defensive coordinator change, a scheme change, the welcoming of a former defensive coordinator to the coaching staff and position changes for the team’s sack leaders, it was another storyline that dominated most of the attention in the offseason.
The Cowboys’ front office and coaching staff chose not to divulge who would be calling plays for the majority of the offseason. Well, they sort of chose not to.
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones intimated during the Senior Bowl that Bill Callahan would, or could, assume that role. Months later, the news that Callahan would call plays eventually got squeezed out, though nobody involved in the switch seemed to think the news was grandiose. Most of them played off its significance.
That’s because it won’t make a drastic difference.
Sure, the timing of calls during the process of a game will be altered with Callahan up in the booth. But when asking any of the coaches or players about the change, none of them seem to believe that the offense will look much different.
The coaches know before the game starts how they want to call a game, what they will do in certain situations and which plays to feature against certain looks or packages from the opponent. That’s what the game plan is for all week.
Don’t expect dramatic changes from the Cowboys’ offense with Callahan now at the helm. He may incorporate more of the West Coast elements he used as the head man in Oakland and with Nebraska, but the most important people who put the game plan together haven’t changed from last year, and, subsequently, the offense won’t either.
Callahan admitted as much.
“It’s not my offense,” Callahan said. “It’s our offense. That’s the main thing to understand here. Like Jason has talked about, we’ve all mentioned, it’s a collaborative effort, it’s a collective effort across the board with the offensive staff. I’m just a guy that’s up in the box and going to call the play, a play that there’s consensus on, there’s agreement on that we’ve all planned and prepared for.”
The head coach is still the same person. While he may not have the title of play-caller anymore, if he wants a certain play called, that’s what the play will be.
We all know if the offense changes at all for better or worse, the finger will point straight at Callahan now. He’ll deserve some of the flak or the credit, but not all of it, for better or for worse.
Garrett shouldn’t be completely off the hook from poor offensive showings and he should still get a decent amount of credit if the Cowboys’ offense starts finding the end zone. After all, the minor changes that may occur on offense will be more from the week of planning than the new play-caller on Sundays.