Roger Staubach on Tom Landry: 'He did too much'

BY foxsports • June 17, 2013

Tom Landry is remembered as a genius coach on both sides of the ball. But one of his greatest players said recently that even a great football mind like Landry had too much on his plate.

"He did too much, I thought," Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach told while at Brandon Carr's charity softball game Saturday.

Landry was known for inventing the Flex defense as well as calling all the plays in the Cowboys' complex offense. The amount of involvement Landry had would be unthinkable in today's era of specialized coaching.

"Coach Landry was a brilliant coach — he put the defense together, he put the offense together," Staubach said. "But with the game today, there's so much going on. There's a lot of strategy involved, and a head coach has to think about the big picture and not just focus on one area that's very important: playcalling. So I think it's moving away from head coaches calling plays."

Staubach's opinion has current relevance with the recent announcement that Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett will no longer call plays. Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan has been given play-calling duty.

That's a move Staubach endorses. Although, as with Landry, it's not because he thinks Garrett doesn't have the brains for the job.

"Jason's a brilliant coach and he needs to have his say in the whole scheme that's going on out there," Staubach said. "If he spends his week watching film of the other teams' defenses, then that's what you have to do to call plays. So my personal feeling is I think it gives him a good grasp on helping in every area of the team versus just worrying about play calling on Sunday."

As a player, Staubach's irritation at not being able to call his own plays was almost a running joke. Nowadays, the complexity of play calling is such that nearly every team sends in plays from the sideline.

With so many other decisions to make during a game, especially clock management and whether to throw challenge flags, Staubach says play calling is better left to an assistant.

"I've always thought that the head coach has too many other things going on," Staubach said. "Calling plays is a lot of work, a lot of effort to do it right."

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire