Jason Garrett explains Scott Linehan

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27
3:00
PM ET
Last spring Jason Garrett held onto who would call the offensive plays like it was his social security number.

At some point in the spring, Garrett revealed it would be Bill Callahan and said things would be fine. That giving up the play calling was in the plans at some point.

Things didn't work as planned.

Garrett said he didn't take over play calling duties in 2013 allowing Callahan to finish out the task, but when the season was over Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner and general manager, intimated something interesting.

While Callahan called the plays, he was basically calling the plays Garrett selected.

The Cowboys took the play calling duties from Callahan and have given them to Scott Linehan. Instead of things being so secretive about the play caller, which was the case last year, there's no doubt about it now.

“We're excited about Scott Linehan,” Garrett said. “He and I worked together with the Dolphins, he was the coordinator and I was the quarterbacks coach. My first exposure to coaching was under him and he and I have very similar philosophies about offensive football and how we do things.”

When Callahan took over there was supposed to be this learning curve. Callahan was a West Coast guy working with a timing-based offense.

It was supposed to be Garrett's offense, but Callahan said it was “the Cowboys offense.”

The end result was another 8-8 finish by the Cowboys and disappointment with Callahan and the overall feeling of the offense.

While Tyron Smith, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant became Pro Bowlers under Callahan/Garrett other parts of the offense faltered. Miles Austin regressed due to injuries. Gavin Escobar was the second-round pick who didn't play enough at tight end. Third down conversions slipped from 43.9 percent in 2012 to 35 percent last year.

A change was needed, so Garrett snagged his buddy in Linehan. He ran the Detroit Lions offense in 2013, which finished third overall in the league at 408.8 yards per game.

Garrett kept his hand in the offense last season despite his plan of letting Callahan run the show. Now, Garrett is supposed to take a step away from things and let Linehan control the offense.

Garrett is supposed to be more relaxed with this arrangement. It's interesting to see, considering he's in the final year of his contract.

But maybe Garrett is in more control now than ever before. He's got his close friend running the offense in comparison to Callahan.

“We have a lot of confidence in our offensive coaching staff,” Garrett said. “I'm certainly going to still be connected with them and communicate very closely with them on how we are doing things and share some of my thoughts on it. Hear some of their thoughts and decide what's best for our football team. But I have a lot of confidence in Scott Linehan, a lot of confidence in Bill Callahan and the whole offensive staff to do things the way we want to do them.”
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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