Jerry Jones said after two 8-8 seasons, he is willing to try a “walk-around” head coach.
He said Tuesday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., that allowing Jason Garrett to focus on being the head coach and not on being both offensive coordinator and play-caller would be a step forward for the Cowboys.
“It’s not a step back for the Cowboys or a step back for him individually to change the way we basically are putting our game plan together or we’re calling the plays on the offensive side of the ball,” Jones said. “As you well know, differences of opinion, frankly, can be a step in a better direction.”
Jones did not come out and flatly say Garrett would no longer call the plays. But he talked all about the effects of such a change in a 30-minute conversation with reporters.
“The reason I’m doing it and basically saying OK, ‘Let’s go differently,’ is because I think this will give us, with what we have in place right now, this will give us the best chance to get to the playoffs and be where we want to go immediately,” Jones said. “We’ve got, and are getting, coaches that will allow us in all phases of the game to have Jason’s skill and benefit, if we go in that direction, to be more focused on every aspect of the team.”
Also Tuesday, Garrett said he is more than willing to be a supervisory head coach and that he has never said “come hell or high water” he’d be the play-caller.
“That’s never been a mentality that I have,” he said. “The mentality I have is what’s best for our football team. At different times, we’ve had to make those decisions. We’ve concluded that it’s a good thing for us to do it the way we’ve been doing.”
Jones said he hired Garrett to be a play-caller as an offensive coordinator and insisted he continue to call plays when he was elevated to head coach.
But he was willing to rethink after two seasons out of the playoffs.
“I’m basically assessing the fact that after two and a half seasons with Jason as head coach, we need to do some things differently,” Jones said. “We are not, and I know our fans are not, I’m not, Jason is not, we’re not at all satisfied with the fact that we’ve been 8-8 two seasons in a row when, given a different set of circumstances, we might have done better.”
-- Carlos Mendez