How Many Dallas Cowboys Does It Take to Screw Up a Play-Call?

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys recently announced the hiring of former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan as their new play-caller. This move comes one year after they hired Bill Callahan, their current offensive coordinator, to call the plays. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett originally had his play-calling privileges relinquished when Callahan was hired. Phrased a different way:

The Dallas Cowboys have a head coach who used to call plays, an offense coordinator who called them last year and now a new, separate play-caller, hiring former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan as passing game coordinator.

When you're done laughing, we can continue. Ready? OK. So the way I see it: Jason Garrett was a bicycle. Then they added Bill Callahan to be his training wheels. Then they felt the need to add a second pair of training wheels to the first pair of training wheels. Sounds reasonable, and most importantly, safe.

So not only do the Cowboys have an offensive-minded head coach who isn't allowed to call plays, but the guy calling plays in place of Garret isn't allowed to call them either . I'm sure this will totally go over well with the other members of the staff.

Bill Callahan will not be happy with this arrangement, but this is the way the Dallas Cowboys believe gives them the best chance to succeed this year.

Or not. Clearly, it looks like the Cowboys are willing to admit hiring Callahan was a mistake if they don't want him calling the play anymore, which is what they originally hired him to do. Right?

Callahan reportedly doesn't like the change, and ESPN's Ed Werder reports the Cowboys won't allow Callahan to interview for other jobs because he could potentially become interim head coach if Garrett is dismissed.

Wait. What? If the Cowboys do like Callahan, why not just let him call the plays? (Or could you ask the same question about Garrett!) Oh, so that he can be a potential replacement for Jason Garrett. What?! So the Cowboys want to have the option of replacing Garrett with the guy that they hired to replace Garrett as a play-caller but then lost his own play-calling duty to Scott Linehan? Oy vey.

Other than drama, I can't say for sure what's going on down in Dallas. But I can say Eagles fans approve of the tremendous job owner/GM Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett have done in Dallas the past three years. Three straight seasons of 8-8! That's right, three straight years without a single losing season or even one playoff loss. Not exactly easy to do in today's parity-driven NFL.

The other thing I can also say that the Eagles play-calling system is much easier to explain. Chip Kelly, wearer of big boy pants (unlike Garrett), makes his own play-calls. And considering how the Eagles offense finished as one of the best units in the league, I'd say that strategy is working pretty well.

Long live Jerry Jones.

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