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January 22, 2013

Garrett says he has to handle game situations better, whether he's calling plays or not

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said a step back away from play-calling provides a more objective look at the team. But whether it makes a head coach a better game manager is not settled in his mind.

“If you watch football every week, there are game situations that are handled by coaches that call plays, there are situations that are handled by coaches who don’t call plays. Sometimes they’re handled well, sometimes they’re not,” Garrett said Tuesday at the Senior Bowl. “This idea that there’s no way you can call plays and handle the game situations – we’ve come back in a lot of games and handled game situations really well. Sometimes we haven’t handled it as well. That’s my responsibility. I have to make sure we do it better. That’s independent of whether I call ball plays or not.

“Coaches who don’t call plays don’t have the corner on handling game situations the right way. But having said that, when you are calling plays, that’s an added responsibility you have during the game that you have to work through.”

Garrett and the Cowboys are considering using another play-caller next season. Owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday back-to-back 8-8 seasons have him open to changing his mind that the head coach should be calling the plays on one side of the ball or the other.

Garrett said he can coach either way and that he has seen the benefits and drawbacks of both methods.

“It’s been done both ways,” Garrett said. “There are a handful of coaches in the league who call offensive plays, or defense, probably more on offense. But obviously, my role as the head coach, if I’m not the play caller, will be significant. It gives you an opportunity to step back a little bit and really get yourself engaged in the other two aspects of the team. And I’ve always tried to do that. I’ve always sat in on defensive meetings. I’ve always had good communication with other coaches. When you remove yourself  a little bit more from one side of the ball or the other, that opportunity to do that is even greater.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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