The Dallas Cowboys’ season ended Sunday, and they suffered another loss this week when offensive coordinator Bill Callahan departed for the Washington Redskins. But the gray clouds finally lifted at Valley Ranch on Thursday, giving way to welcome sunshine.
Owner Jerry Jones considers his team’s future just as bright after assuring the rest of the coaching staff stays intact.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Jones made official the re-signings of Jason Garrett, Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan.
“I think we’ve put in place the cornerstone with our coaching staff,” Jones said. “…We’re standing on the shoulders of the work that has been done over the last several years. Let’s build on this place where we are. These are quality people, arguably as good or better than any coaches as a staff that I have had the privilege of being associated with.”
Garrett signed a five-year deal worth $30 million, according to sources. It all but assures that he becomes the second-longest-tenured coach in team history.
“Green Bay is as dead as Napoleon. It’s gone. That’s history,” Jones said. “All that counts is whatever happened up and through right now, because the bet is on the future, and Jason is a great bet for our organization.”
Only Tom Landry, who won 250 games and two Super Bowls in 29 seasons, will have coached the Cowboys longer, and Landry never coached for Jones. Jones has never had a coach stay longer than five years, which Jimmy Johnson did by winning two Super Bowls during his 1989-93 tenure.
Garrett has coached 72 games, taking over from Wade Phillips midway through the 2010 season. After three consecutive 8-8 finishes in Garrett’s first three full seasons, the Cowboys won the NFC East with a 12-4 record and beat the Detroit Lions in a wild-card game.
“We started something four years ago when I became the head coach,” Garrett said. “It’s a word I think about really each and every day when I wake up and throughout the day, it’s build. We want to build a football team that everyone who is associated with our football team is proud of. I feel like we’ve done that. The work is not done. That word build stays in my mind throughout each and every day in every decision we make.
“…We’re excited about the opportunities in 2015 to build on some of the things we did this past season.”
Marinelli and Linehan signed three-year deals that Jones said makes them among the highest-paid coordinators in the NFL. Linehan takes over Callahan’s title of offensive coordinator after calling plays last season as passing-game coordinator.
The rest of the staff will return, too, according to Garrett, aside from Callahan. The Cowboys promoted assistant offensive line coach Frank Pollack to take over Callahan’s line duties.
“I think continuity is important,” Garrett said. “I think one of the best things we’ve done over the last few years, and I’m a beneficiary of it, but the continuity to keep a program in place. Whether it’s an offensive system, a defensive system or a system on special teams, but maybe more than that an overarching principle of how we want this football team to be. I think all of these decisions with our coaches reflect that.
“Continuity doesn’t mean, ‘Hey, everything is OK.’ Everything is not OK. We don’t live a day around here with the understanding that, ‘Hey, that part of the organization is fine.’ Nothing is fine. There is a sense of urgency that we live with that’s in the forefront of our minds in everything that we do. But having those overarching principles and philosophies in place I think are important as we strive to do everything better.”