Unofficially official: Callahan to call plays for Cowboys in '13

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will handle play-calling duties next season for the Dallas Cowboys.

The decision was made weeks ago, per owner Jerry Jones, who said anybody who has been watching off-season workouts can decipher as much.

“If you’ve been looking at practice, you can get a pretty good idea of how it’s going there,” Jones said. “You can see Bill very involved in what we’re doing.”

Callahan confirmed his new role as well.

“It’s a real honor and a great responsibility,” Callahan said. “I’m flattered to be part of this and take on the additional responsibilities of calling the plays in the course of the game.”

The only problem with the scenario is that coach Jason Garrett is still not ready to make an official announcement.

“We have a plan,” Garrett said. “No real comment beyond that.”

Welcome to the circus known as the Dallas Cowboys.

That Callahan, the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, would take over play-calling duties has been known for months. He has called plays during organized team activities the past three weeks, while Garrett has stood off to the side.

But Garrett, who called the plays since 2007, has not yet made an official statement. He didn’t reveal anything Tuesday, although he said it would be wrong to use that as evidence that he was not on board with the decision.

“I’m completely on board with all decisions we make,” Garrett said. “We make collective decisions in this organization. We always have and we always will.”

Garrett said he doesn’t see the need to answer the question at this point in the off-season for competitive reasons.

“There is no real advantage for us to reveal who’s calling the plays explicitly and how we’re going to do it in early June,” Garrett said. “It’s just the way I feel about it. We have a plan in place. We’ve had a plan in place for a long, long time. I don’t want to get into that plan much further than I already have.”

Garrett acknowledged he and Jones have different philosophies on how information is dispensed, but he wanted it clear that there is nothing wrong with their relationship.

“He and I get along great. We have a great relationship,” Garrett said. “He’s an outstanding owner because he cares a great deal about this football team and making the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys great. When you’re in an environment like that, working for a guy like that, the pedal is down and that’s a good thing. The pedal is down for all of us.”

The pedal is down primarily because the Cowboys have finished 8-8 the past two years under Garrett and have not been in the playoffs since 2009. The Cowboys hope that Callahan will bring more balance to an offense that finished 31st in the league in rushing last year and had the least productive rushing attack in franchise history.

Callahan will call plays in 2014 for the first time since he was head coach at Nebraska from 2004-07. He also called plays for the Oakland Raiders’ 2002 Super Bowl team.

“I think he’s an outstanding coach with the kind of experience that I really think is good for us right now,” Jones said. “I like the coordinator, the play-caller, if you will, to have a background focused in the interior and focused in the protections and focused in the blocking for the running game.”

Just don’t ask Garrett about it.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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