Jerry to force Garrett to quit play calling?
IRVING, Texas — In my exclusive interview with Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Jan. 2, I asked him about the possibility of a change in the offensive staff and in the play calling duties, which up to now have been held by Garrett himself.
"Everything is on the table," Garrett told me.
That status is ongoing, as Garrett and owner Jerry Jones continue to meet and evaluate the possibility of staff alterations. Such alterations could include the hiring of a new lieutenant to call plays, the elevation of staffer Bill Callahan to fill that role, the dismissal/reassignment of tight ends coach John Garrett — Jason's brother and trusted advisor — and the pursuit of former Dallas aide Tony Sparano as the new tight ends coach.
As I reported on Thursday, sources tell me Jones' confidants have strongly urged the owner to give Garrett help with play calling.
The hiring of Monte Kiffin is part of the change on the defensive side, as Jones fulfills his promise of an "uncomfortable" time at Valley Ranch following the team's 8-8 season. I'm told Kiffin is in contact with USC staffer Scottie Hazelton to coach linebackers and that incumbent secondary coach Jerome Henderson is among the holdovers who might remain in place.
Contrary to many reports, none of this necessarily constitutes a "showdown" between owner and coach or a "circus" as the organization goes about its business. It's simply an evaluation process — just like the ones unfolding in most other NFL cities — that fulfills two promises.
One, Jones' vow of "uncomfortable" change. And two, Garrett conceding that "everything is on the table."