IRVING, Texas** – Owner Jerry Jones admits he can get defensive when he hears people discuss the offseason moves made and assume he's cutting the legs out from under head coach Jason Garrett.
Jones maintains that couldn't be further from the truth and that Garrett has been a focal part of the decisions made this offseason, including which coach will call plays. All indications are that Garrett will relinquish that role next season.
"It has never been an issue with Jason Garrett," Jones said. "Never. That was his GM. That was me, by having him come in here as play-caller and doing that for the very first time. But as for being the play-caller for the last six years, it was me that said, 'Boy, I'd prefer it being the head coach that's doing the offensive play-calling,' to the extent that he decides that he'd rather do it another way. (It) is not a takeaway."
Jones said it'll also be Garrett's judgment as head coach to decide the best way for the team to win each game, and any decision on play-calling is a part of that.
"It doesn't have anything [to do] with a lack of confidence on our head coach's part about how well he can call the plays," Jones said. "It has more to do with the positives that go with it, which everybody
recognizes, that if you have more time to not be the busiest man in the whole organization, the offensive play-caller, if you have more time to move around on every aspect of the team, early in the week, in the middle of the week and during game-day, there'll be a tremendous benefit from that.
"However he comes up with how he wants to design how the offense runs, coupled with the fact that we've made the changes defensively and with special teams, I'm going to be excited about it. We've got the right man putting this together in Jason Garrett."
Questions have surfaced regarding just how involved Garrett's been with the staff decisions made this offseason. The new hires made by the Cowboys all came from the Tampa Bay staffs of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Garrett, who was a backup quarterback for the Buccaneers in 2004, was absent for most of the Senior Bowl as he interviewed potential position coaches to fill out the rest of the offensive staff, which still has a few vacancies. The Cowboys have spots to fill at running backs coach, wide receivers coach and tight ends coach, and according to Jones, Garrett has been heavily involved in every move on both sides of the ball.
"Jason is putting together, as he should be, a staff and philosophy on every phase of the team, and allocating his time, relative to allocating the time of his staff, to helping us win a football game now and in the future," Jones said. "I'm excited. Boy, we've got a good man in Jason Garrett putting this together for us. He's got a unique position."
Jones wasn't in a hurry at the Senior Bowl to name the rest of the staff. He said on the second day of Senior Bowl practice he'd name a special teams coach later that day, but he clarified shortly afterward that a deal was still being finalized. The Cowboys officially announced the hiring of Rich Bisaccia as the team's special teams coordinator Wednesday.
The owner said he doesn't feel the need to get impatient about how slowly and deliberately the Cowboys are waiting to name the rest of their offensive staff because of the "safety net" he has with Garrett as head coach.
"I want him to work through, from my perspective, work through his interviews, sit down with how his staff might meld together, think about some of the philosophy, which is a part of this as well, because certain coaches could bring a certain addition to the kind of thinking that goes on back there with game plans and play-calling, so all of that leads me to say no, I don't have a timeframe."
Jones said Garrett's the perfect candidate to lead the team because of his knowledge of the plays, his knowledge of the personnel and his knowledge of Tony Romo's capabilities and flaws as a quarterback.
"He knows where we've been in terms of our offense, certainly over the last six years," Jones said. "He certainly is excited about the changes we've made on defense, relative to how that affects the whole game plan. One of the things I'm happiest about is who we've got putting this together in Jason Garrett."