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Coughlin, Manning Familiar With Cowboys' New Roles


Those around the Dallas area have asked just about all the questions that can be asked of Cowboys coach Jason Garrett when it comes to playcalling.

Garrett stepped back from playcalling after the 2012 season, it was revealed that offensive coordinator Bill Callahan would call the plays during the offseason and it was put into practice over the course of five preseason games. Every step of the way, it has been a consistent topic of conversation.

It's hard for sure how the Cowboys' coaches, specifically Garrett, adapt to the change – or whether it'll be positive or negative. But a good bit of insight can be gained from Garrett's Week 1 opponent in Giants coach Tom Coughlin.

Coughlin, who has been an NFL head coach for going on 18 years,  was a playcaller as a college coach for Boston College in the early 90s. Asked about it Wednesday, Coughlin said it's a decision that affects every coach differently.

"It's your personality and your beliefs and how you choose to spend your time. But there was a point in time for me where I just said, 'You know what? I've got to be the head coach of the entire team,'" Coughlin said. "I was spending so much time trying to be prepared for the playcalling duties that I felt like it was maybe closing some doors of opportunity for me to be involved in the motivation of our players, the management of our players to a better extreme. So that was the reason for me."

That reasoning nearly mirrors what Garrett has been saying since this became a line of questioning. With Callahan calling the offense, Garrett should be freed up to focus on the various other issues calling for his attention in a typical game week. Coughlin said he made the switch when he became the coach of the Giants in 2004, and he hasn't regretted it.

"You've got to understand your other responsibility, and you just adjust your time in different ways. You're hoping to enrich the entire program because of it," Coughlin said.

Along the same lines, it's interesting to think that Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been through the same type of adaptation as Tony Romo, as much has been made of Romo's increased role in the Cowboys' offense. [embedded_ad]

Manning has worked with the same coach, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, since he was drafted in 2004. That long of a relationship allows for a great deal of cooperation in gameplanning.

"They do a good job putting in a gameplan, and if there's a few suggestions or checks or looks, we discuss them and talk about them and make sure we're all on the same page," Manning said. "I've been fortunate to have been in the same offense of 10 years, so there's a lot of things that I see that they've already seen as well, and we're kind of thinking along the same lines."

The Cowboys can only hope Romo and his coaches are on the same page to that degree. But even with a decade of familiarity under his belt, Coughlin said Manning is plenty experienced working with the coaching staff.

"He's here all day Monday, he's here all day Tuesday – he's studying. He gets together with his position coach, his quarterback coach Sean Ryan," Coughlin said. "The suggestions, if there are those, are made through Sean. But Eli is very, very much involved in studying the opponent and knowing what to expect."

The Giants have clearly fared well from that amount of communication between staff and player. The Cowboys will get their chance this weekend.

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