June 6, 2013
It’s coming up on the beginning of a new season for the Dallas Cowboys. With that beginning comes new optimism, along with the normal expectations of competing for the Super Bowl, something the Cowboys haven’t been able to do for quite sometime. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, there is another thing we’ve become accustomed to when it comes to talking about “America’s Team,” and that’s dysfunction. As Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are about to wind down, there are a lot of grumblings about who the person calling the plays will be. Head coach Jason Garrett has been the play-caller since he became the offensive coordinator for the team in 2007 (Garrett became the head coach 2010 and never relinquished play-calling duties). Coming in to this season, it has been said by owner/general manager Jerry Jones there will be changes, and one of those changes will be Garrett giving up the play-calling duties to incoming OC Bill Callahan. Callahan actually said this week he will be the one calling the plays for the Cowboys, but after a press conference with Garrett, a person wouldn’t have to be ultra smart to know the head coach is less than pleased with this decision if that’s the way it’s going down. It’s probably safe to say this will be a continuing saga for the Cowboys as we get closer to training camp. When things like this constantly go on, one can understand why the Cowboys have been the model of mediocrity for the past few years. It’s hard to make improvements when management and coaches can never be on the same page. Head coaches should be able to coach their players the way they see fit, but that’s not the case in Dallas, where Jones is constantly breathing down the necks of whoever is given the title of head coach. On top of the discussion of who will be the one calling the plays, franchise quarterback Tony Romo is supposed to have more say so on offensive game plans from week to week. Romo, who just signed a 6-year, $108 million extension ($55 million guaranteed), has been the starting quarterback for the team since the middle of the 2006-’07 season. Anyone who can tell me why Romo hasn’t had more say so in the game plan for this long would be greatly appreciated. The head coach, whether it’s Garrett, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells, Barry Switzer or Wade Phillips (take your pick), can’t do anything they think will help without it being looked at under a microscope by Jones. The problem I see from the outside with Jones is he’s a good businessman, but not necessarily a good football mind. Just because a person holds the title of owner/GM doesn’t make him a good fit for the job. Nobody should expect Jones to give up his ownership, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask for him to put down the GM position. While it may sound like a good idea, Jones has said he’ll never fire himself from the positions he holds, and that is bad news for Cowboys fans all over the world. Unless Jones has a change of heart and bring someone in who has a football mind, 8-8 records will continue to be the norm, and that won’t suffice in the state of Texas. If Jones wants an example of how to gracefully pass responsibility to someone else, he doesn’t have to look any further than the Cowboys’ rival, the Washington Redskins. That’s where the owner, Daniel Snyder, was in charge of everything, then he decided to bring in Bruce Allen to be the general manager and Mike Shanahan to be the head coach. Snyder stepped back and let his people work for him, and now the Redskins are coming off of a NFC East division title from last season. Examples and opportunities are out the for Jones to follow and step back, but Jones’ ego won’t let him step back. If that doesn’t change, dysfunction will not go away anytime soon for the Cowboys.
By Charles Taylor