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Jerry Jones clarifies coaching roles

2/23/2014 - NFL Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys + more

INDIANAPOLIS -- If the setup surrounding the Dallas Cowboys' offense was confusing in 2013, owner and general manager Jerry Jones attempted to clarify what it will be like in 2014.

New passing game coordinator Scott Linehan will be the brains behind the operation with Bill Callahan back in a running game role and coach Jason Garrett out of the offensive mix altogether.

"Linehan gives us a complete real change of our offense with our terminology," Jones said. "It's different. Although [Garrett and Linehan] have been together coaching, you can't see a lot of what we've been and what they did up in Detroit. He's got a track record of really zeroing in and building the offense around the talent, the specific talent and the qualities of the players."

Jones said quarterback Tony Romo will be "more involved" in the offense than he was last year, when he took part in game-plan meetings during the course of the week, but "how and where and what has to do with how comfortable he is" with Linehan, Jones said.

When the Cowboys discussed the possibility of adding Linehan, Jones said Romo had conversations with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who worked under Linehan for five seasons.

"He got a great feeling for Linehan's imagination and what Linehan does to maximize players, the skills of the individual players and his flexibility in coming up with schemes within schemes within the base or the rules of an offense," Jones said. "Having said all that, the most excited guy in the organization was Tony Romo to have the prospect of getting Linehan, so they will be locked at the hip."

Jones said Romo was a "tremendous supporter" of Callahan, who called the plays in 2013. Callahan was upset by the demotion and the Cowboys also blocked him from interviewing with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

The plan last year was for Callahan to take over the offense, but Garrett could not give up the driver's seat even if he was not calling the plays. Jones said Garrett was "unquestionably" the coordinator on the day-to-day basis.

"It was unfair to Bill, but it was the offense that we've had since [Garrett] got here," Jones said.

Garrett's comfort and background with Linehan made him more willing to give up the seat in 2014.

"There's a difference when you're sitting in the room and as the head coach you say, 'Wait a minute, y'all put some salt and pepper in there,' then after it's already been cooked and you're tasting it outside the room and you say, 'It might need a little salt and pepper.' It's a big difference. One you're involved in the cooking, one you're not involved. Jason was involved in the cooking last year. That was just a fact and everybody knew that or should. That won't be the case this year."