ORLANDO – One day after owner Jerry Jones said quarterback Tony Romo was even ahead of schedule in his rehab from late-December back surgery, coach Jason Garrett reiterated the optimism with his quarterback, although he didn't say exactly when he'll back on the field this summer.
"When I've seen him, he looks good. Everyone tells me he's on pace," Garrett said of Romo. "We're going to be patient with him just like we would any player to make sure he's OK before we put him out there. Again, he's on schedule. Everyone is excited to get him out there."
Garrett said the Cowboys will remain patient with Romo's rehab, despite the fact that the club has a new passing game coordinator in Scott Linehan, who comes over after five seasons as Detroit's offensive coordinator.
Garrett and Linehan worked together in Miami in 2005-06, and the head coach said he's hoping for a mixed bag of new material that falls under the structure of the offense that has been in place since Garrett joined the team in 2007.
"We're excited about Scott Linehan. He and I worked together with the Dolphins. He was the coordinator and I was the quarterbacks coach," Garrett said. "My first exposure to coaching was under him, and he and I have very similar philosophies about offensive football and how we do things. There are some terminology things that are common to both of our offensive systems, certainly philosophically similar in foundation. We think that what he's going to bring is certainly positive and an outside influence that's different than what we've been doing"
While the Cowboys will continue to work with offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, who is the team's offensive line coach, it appears Linehan will have a stronger role in the weekly game-planning. But Garrett said regardless if there's a new voice in the room, changes to the scheme are always needed. [embedded_ad]
"You always want to evolve your offense from year to year and continue to grow with your system," Garrett said. "There is a foundation that we have in place, a philosophy that's very similar, and we're excited about the different things that he's going to bring."
Last year, the Lions finished sixth overall in total offense, averaging 392.1 yards per game. Detroit's passing attack (270.5) ranked third in the NFL, thanks in large part to the success of wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who enjoyed a career day against the Cowboys. Johnson's 329 receiving yards was the second highest in NFL history for a single game and helped the Lions to a 31-30 win over the Cowboys back in October.
While Linehan has a reputation of being more pass-happy, Detroit also ranked 17th in the NFL in rushing last year. The Lions passed 634 times and rushed 445 times. The Cowboys threw 586 times to 334 rushing attempts.