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‘Perception’ Of Cowboys In My OTA Notebook

Mike Fisher for 105.3 The Fan | CBSDFW.com
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IRVING (105.3 THE FAN) - Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was asked after Tuesday’s OTA workout at Valley Ranch if it fair to conclude that he and owner Jerry Jones have different philosophies as to how information is disseminated.

“I think,’’ Garrett deadpanned, “you can draw your own conclusions.”

The central issue of this discussion is assistant Bill Callahan’s ascension to offensive playcaller, something that’s been apparent to Valley Ranch insiders since late January but continues to be a “controversy’’ even today because of the unorthodox way Garrett and Jones have handled it publically.

The coach has opted not to handle it at all, believing the “privacy’’ (“private’’ unless you observe Callahan’s work in the last three open-media Tuesdays at practice) gives Dallas a “competitive advantage.’’

The owner revealed this poorly-kept secret on his own Tuesday, creating a dysfunctional look to the organizational chart.

Of course, this organizational chart has 24 years of shelf life. So maybe “dysfunction’’ is simply “function’’ – at least until a Callahan call goes bad in a game, in which case the world might start to understand that changing drivers doesn’t automatically mean the car wins the race.

*The entire starting D-line took most of the day off on Tuesday. No 11-on-11 work for Ware, Hatcher, Ratliff or Spencer.

*It would be a mistake to take for granted the participation of DeMarco Murray, who showed no signs of hamstring problems.

*Buzz is, the good people of Frisco are being very aggressive in hoping to get the Cowboys to move their headquarters from Irving to their city.

*Miles Austin sat out the workout, leaving rookie Terrance Williams to get a great deal of first-team work.
*Quarterback Tony Romo, still recovering from surgery to remove a cyst from his back, might miss the June 11-13 minicamp.

“We’re probably going to be real conservative there and it’s probably unlikely,” Jones said.

*Running backs coach Gary Brown has been absent from recent workouts, reportedly due to his daughter’s battle with Leukemia. Special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia was absent Tuesday to attend a family graduation.

*The Cowboys signed special-teamer/defensive back Eric Frampton, who spent some time with the club last season.

*Dallas now has $9.7 million of cap space – a good portion of that earmarked for a contract extension this summer for linebacker Sean Lee.

*A step in the development of receiver Cole Beasley: being more than “just’’ a slot receiver. And he’s doing just that.

*Dallas is leaning toward not employing a full-time fullback this year. As an experiment, linebacker Caleb McSurdy did some work as a goalline fullback.

*And maybe, new veteran tight end Dante Rosario can utilize some of the H-Back skills that are on his resume.

“The things they’re asking me to do, I think I’ll be able to excel there,’’ Rosario said. “Catching the ball, blocking … Playing in the slot, in the backfield, out wide in space … that’s what I look forward to doing.’’

*Justin Durant on the athleticism of his linebacker mates: “It’s crazy. I’ve seen some great, athletic linebackers but they (Sean Lee and Bruce Carter and company) have a chance to be as great as any I’ve played with. I’m just trying to fit in any way I can.’’

*A great use of OTAs: Teaching the zone-blocking scheme that has very quietly become the foundation of the running game.

*I think we can further shelve the notion of Travis Frederick as anything but a center – and at this early stage, the Cowboys believe he’s a potential decade-long pillar there.

*Callahan, after being told that Jones had spoken openly about the playcalling plans, said he is “flattered” and “honored’’ to work under Garrett in that capacity.

“Jason has placed a lot of trust in the staff,” Callahan said. “He is still involved in the game-planning and in the meetings, and rightfully so. He is the head coach. This is his area of expertise. This is his system. So I’m really honored. I’m flattered to be part of this and take on the additional responsibilities of calling the plays in the course of the game.”

Again, the unorthodox handling of the situation is a bigger deal than the actual change. Some misunderstand this as a conflict between owner and coach.

“Not at all,” Garrett said. “He and I get along great. We have a great relationship. He’s an outstanding owner. He’s an outstanding owner because he cares a great deal about this football team and making the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys great. When you’re in an environment like that, working for a guy like that, the pedal is down, and that’s a good thing. The pedal is down for all of us.”

As to folks who don’t see it that way … who imagine power struggles and conflicts?

“Perception doesn’t matter to me a whole lot,” Garrett said. “Doing my job to the best of my ability matters the most.’’

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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