BOYS BYE WEEK BUZZ: Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett doesn’t plan on return to calling plays

DIVINE INTERVENTION - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suggest changes, but not in the coaching ranks - Jason Garrett and Tony Romo

IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was emphatic this morning when asked if he could return to calling the team’s offense if he so chose.

“Absolutely,” he responded.

Despite that, Garrett echoed Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones’ message from earlier in the day that, struggles aside, the team isn’t considering a change of play caller.

“That’s not something we’re really talking about,” he said. “I just think the biggest thing we have to do is evaluate what we have done in all three phases and what’s been good, what hasn’t been good, build and emphasize the things that have been good and correct the other stuff.”

The question was bound to be asked after the Cowboys tallied just 193 yards of offense in Sunday night’s loss to the Saints. With offensive coordinator Bill Callahan serving as the unit’s play caller this season, the Cowboys are No. 19 in the NFL in yards per game.

“We don’t want to overanalyze and overreact to certain situations. We’ve done some good things on offense and we like the structure that we have in place,” he said. “We have to, as a coaching staff, simply do a better job – that’s everybody.”

Since exploding for 522 total yards in the Oct. 6 loss to Denver, the Cowboys have cracked 350 yards just twice in five games and have failed to reach 300 yards in the other three.

Jones said that the team’s struggles, both offensively and defensively, didn’t call for any major changes during the bye week.

“We’re 5-5, we’re tied for the lead in our division. We’ve got players coming back,” Jones said. “We’ve got one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. We’re off a rough loss. That doesn’t call for major changes out here at all.”

Garrett said as much himself, although he faced more than one question about reclaiming play calling duties. With the league’s No. 4 scoring offense and No. 1 turnover differential, he said the offense needs to focus simply on execution.

“We just need to play better on offense,” he said. “The thing you got to remember is we’re among the better scoring teams in the league right now and that’s been a positive thing for our team.”

With Garrett calling plays from 2007 until 2012, the Cowboys’ offense never finished worse than No. 13 in the league, and it finished among the NFL’s 10 best offenses in four of six seasons.

He added that it’s on every member of the offensive coaching staff, from the top down, to improve whatever ails their production – particularly with a week off to closer evaluate the issues.

“Everyone’s a part of that – I’m a part of that, Coach Callahan is a part of that, every coach on the offensive staff, every player,” he said. “We just have to do a better job. We’re going to look at what we’re doing and try to do it better.”


JASON GARRETT PRESS CONFERENCE - Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett - watch video - button Cowboys Saints - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys

Jason Garrett press conference: Preparing for the bye week (20:53)

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media as his team prepares to head into it’s bye week (Watch Video | Play Audio)

Garrett discussed:

  • Was Sunday’s game out of character or a schematic problem
  • Thoughts on young players confidence levels after the Saints defeat
  • Jeff Heath bounce back and confidence playing for J.J. Wilcox; Special Teams
  • Other than injury recovery, what else can be done during the bye week
  • After evaluation of first ten games, should he be involved more in play calling
  • Offense struggle since Denver game, why he’s not taking over playcalling
  • How much new emphasis is being put on getting Dez Bryant the football more
  • Is he satisfied with the number of targets Dez Bryant is getting
  • When going into the bye in such a shocking way, are major changes necessary
  • Decision to go into more man-coverage for the remaining games
  • Can players loose belief in coaches and system when it’s been this bad
  • Did the defense unravel when Sean Lee went out; impact on team; his takeaways
  • Who will be playing middle linebacker until Sean Lee can return
  • Are drastic scheme changes needed to give team chance to win
  • Other than takeaways, what has the defense done well
  • Which key players are due back in time for road game with New York Giants
  • DeMarcus Ware tweaking injury
  • Impact of missing Miles Austin during significant number of games; mismatch
  • How having Miles Austin the mix helps Dez Bryant and Jason Witten
  • Team in position going into last six games to accomplish what they want
  • Thoughts on leaving Romo (and other starters) in for last few minutes of Saints game
  • Concerns about the mental health of the team after close losses and Saints blowout
  • What lead to the final decision to let Romo and others starters finish game
  • Assessment of Tony Romo’s first five games compared to last five games
  • Is Tony Romo being too careful regarding deep balls and avoiding turnovers
  • Defining why Tony Romo’s completion percentage has declined
  • Sports Illustrated report that Sam Hurd distributed marijuana to 20-25 players

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