- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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“Obviously creating an environment for your quarterback to play well is something we all think is important,” Coach Jason Garrett said. “We take great pride in that over the last seven years with this system and what we’re trying to do with our football team. Tony did get a chance to visit with Scott today and we think that’s a positive thing. Again to have those open lines of communication with our quarterback is a good thing. We’ve always thought it was a good thing.”
The Cowboys coaches are beginning what Garrett calls the “first phase” of the offseason, breaking down the season and what went right and wrong and how to fix things in 2014. With Romo recovering from back surgery, he should be involved in that process as well and will continue to have a say in the game planning.
Garrett sounded as if he will take even a further step back on offense altogether in 2014.
Bill Callahan called the plays in 2013, but Garrett was still responsible for the passing game. Late in the season, Garrett relayed the calls from Callahan from the coaches’ booth to Romo or Kyle Orton. Garrett said the Cowboys will return to the structure they had when he was the playcaller, which means Linehan could be on the field during games.
“He’ll be in a similar role that I was in a couple of years ago and the years prior to that,” Garrett said. “So he’ll have the responsibility of calling plays and putting the passing game together and all that goes with that in the offseason, during the game week and certainly on gameday.”
Linehan has had a top-10 ranked offense in seven of his 11 full seasons as a coordinator or head coach with the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and, for the past five seasons, the Detroit Lions.
“He’s been one of the really good coordinators in the league for a long time,” Garrett said. “He’s got a lot of experience, a lot of exposure doing this at the collegiate level and the NFL level. His track record speaks for itself. He’s presided over a lot of really good offenses in this league. He and I worked together in Miami for a year, so I know him and I know him well. Philosophically I feel like we’re very similar in how we approach things. I learned a great deal from him, excited to have him on board.”