OXNARD, Calif. – The play-caller will be new once again this year and his location will also be a change as well. Scott Linehan will call out the plays from the sideline starting Thursday night in San Diego as the Cowboys kick off the 2014 preseason schedule at Qualcomm Stadium.
Linehan is the team's passing game coordinator, working alongside offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, who called the plays last year. Callahan spent last year in the booth but Linehan said he's preferred to be on the sidelines, where he's called the plays since 2005.
"Yeah, I'd like to do that," said Linehan, who has spent the last five years with Detroit as the offensive coordinator. "I'm comfortable with it. There's plusses and minuses to both. We take advantage of what the plusses are. We've got some good people up there (in booth)."
One of the coaches up there will be quarterback coach Wade Wilson, whom Linehan said "knows the game as good as anyone." Wilson will be on the phones in direct communication with Linehan, along with offensive assistant Kyle Valero, who was worked with him in Detroit since 2010.
"We've got people who understand how I like to do it," Linehan said. "Everyone does it different. Half the league does it one way and half the league does it another. I like the 1-on-1 communication (with the quarterback). The only that would frustrate me being in the box is that you have to talk to somebody to talk to the quarterback or to get the quarterback on the phone. You talk to them, but you miss the opportunity for three other guys to hear the same conversation. I can talk to Tony and talk to the receivers, running back and the O-line all at the same time. You can't do that from the booth."
Head coach Jason Garrett was on the field when he was offensive coordinator from 2007 to halfway through 2010 when he was named interim head coach.
"I think it's a personal preference. You see the game better from upstairs, you might feel the game better being on the sidelines," Garrett said. "The communication with players is important. The direct contact you have with the players is important. I definitely think the visual is better from above. The Xs and Os, you see the whole 22. If you have some good eyes up there and you communicate well, I think it's best to have the play caller down and the good eyes and the good communication upstairs."