Back in January, former NFL player Tim Brown stated that Raiders head coach Bill Callahan (current Dallas Cowboys offensive play caller) sabotaged the super bowl against the Buccaneers. That’s a pretty serious allegation there. But what really jumped out at me was what Brown said about their super bowl game plan from Callahan.
Brown said that after preparing on Monday through Thursday before the Super Bowl for a run-first offense, Callahan sprung a new game plan on his players, a pass-first game plan that, according to Brown, Callahan knew would cost the Raiders the game
Does that sound a little like the debacle in the Packers game where Dallas ran the ball successfully in the first half but then mysteriously abandoned it in the 2nd half to blow a 23 point lead?
Even a normally conservative Troy Aikman found the play calling against the Packers “mind-boggling”.
“But if there was ever a time that DeMarco Murray should have had 25 carries in a game, that was it. You’ve got a 23-point lead. And as it turns out, Eddie Lacy ran the ball almost twice as much as DeMarco Murray in the second half of that ballgame, which is pretty mind-boggling. It was as bizarre a loss as I’ve ever witnessed.” Aikman said.
After witnessing Callahan’s play calling last Sunday, Tim Brown’s comments don’t seem nearly as outrageous. Do I think that Callahan intentionally blew the game Sunday or even the super bowl? No I don’t, but I do think he is so terrible of a play caller that one might think it appeared to be the case.
After the loss, many commented “there was plenty blame to go around”. I get it, the defense was awful and Callahan doesn’t coach the defense. But running the ball would have helped keep that struggling defense off the field. On the interception that Romo threw late, we have learned that Romo didnt’ technically change the play. The play call from Callahan actually had a pass built into it based on the defensive alignment.
At the time when Jerry Jones added Callahan to the coaching staff, I didn’t have a good feeling about it based on Callahan’s coaching history, and now I feel even worse about the hire. Tim Brown was frustrated with a coach who would abandon the game plan to run the ball and suddenly become a pass happy team. And remember he was a wide receiver.
It reminds me of the frustration WR Dez Bryant displayed after Romo’s INT Sunday when they should have been running the ball. Dez bounced to the locker room early and the critics pounced on that action. But attention needs to get to the heart of the problem and that would be an incompetent play caller in Callahan.
A pattern exist of abandoning the run and going to the pass when it isn’t the smart thing to do. Callahan has done it in the past and he will likely continue to do it in the future.