MOBILE, Ala. -- In his strongest comments yet about the Dallas Cowboys' play-calling situation, owner and general manager Jerry Jones implied to reporters at the Senior Bowl that coach Jason Garrett would no longer call the team's offensive plays and that offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan would take over that role.
Jones stopped short of making those announcements official, but said Tuesday morning Garrett was fine with the decision. After a brief second interview with ESPNDallas.com on Tuesday afternoon, Jerry and Stephen Jones said no final decisions have been made regarding the play caller.
Also, multiple sources said the Cowboys have held discussions with former Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson about joining the staff in some capacity on offense. Originally the discussions revolved around Jackson becoming the offensive coordinator but they now have moved toward possibly adding Jackson to another position.
Jackson has worked within the framework of the Cowboys' offense, which is based on a number system. Jackson worked with coaches Al Saunders and Cam Cameron in the past, who both run a similar scheme. Jackson joined the Raiders as offensive coordinator in 2010 under then-coach Tom Cable. Jackson improved the Raiders' offense that season as they finished sixth in scoring (25.6) and more than doubled their point total from the previous season.
What role Jackson might have with the Cowboys is uncertain, but for now Jones is likely moving away from using Garrett as the playcaller.
"It's not a step back for Jason. It's actually a step forward for Jason in my mind," Jones said. "... When he became the head coach, it was at my insistence that he continue to call the plays. It was not at Jason's insistence. It is not a step back for the Cowboys or a step back individually for him to change the way we basically are putting our game plan together or are calling the plays on the offensive side of the ball. As you well know, differences in opinion can frankly be a step in a better direction."
Jones said Garrett would work more on overall team issues but will still be involved with the offense.
Callahan is the most experienced playcaller on the staff, having served in that role under Jon Gruden in Oakland running the West Coast offense. Jones said some aspects of that offense could be used in coordination with Garrett's timing-based system.
"I think you get that when you create more input, influence, whatever you want to call it ..." Jones said. "If Bill Callahan has more influence -- let's make that assumption. If he does, then you will see more of some of the things that work for him in his coaching career."