PHOENIX– New offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has been around the NFL for a while. He's seen his share of teams get close to the Super Bowl one year and take the next step the following season. He's also seen teams on the verge of greatness take a few steps back as well.
So when asked Tuesday if the Cowboys are close to advancing on their 2014 success, Linehan hesitated, stating, "there's not a big difference between who is close and who isn't in the NFL."
But as he arrived at his hotel Tuesday at the Pro Bowl, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator used the word "close" in a different connotation to describe his excitement moving forward.
"There's probably some truth to that, but I do believe in teams being close from a chemistry standpoint. That doesn't hurt your ability to win games," Linehan said. "I think that's one of the things I'm most proud of with our team and I think Jason (Garrett) has done a great job in developing the communication to have the team chemistry we had this year. That's not something you can bottle up. It's something the players bought in and created."
And it didn't sound like it ended with the players either. Linehan said if there are changes in his offensive approach now as he takes over for departed offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, it will be with the same collaborative effort it was all of last year.
"We'll do it as a staff. It's not just me tweaking it. We'll all just evaluate it," Linehan said. "We'll sit down and watch all of our game tapes and cut-ups before we make any decisions moving forward. There's a lot of things that have to get done. We'll do it together. I think the continuity and chemistry of our staff was never too big for anything to do to adjust and make some of the moves and philosophical things to help us win."
Linehan, who signed a rare one-year contract for assistant coaches before last year, said he had some other offers with even longer-term deals. But rejoining Garrett, whom he coached with in Miami, and the ability to coach what he called a talented offensive group of players was too good to pass up.
"I had other options, but no better option to be able to join this franchise with the current state of the personnel," Linehan said, referring to last year. "The coaching staff was really strong before I got here. I felt like it was a no-brainer at the time. We had a successful year, it wasn't what we wanted at the end. We couldn't have asked for anything better."
And as a result, Linehan said it turned out to be one of his most enjoyable seasons as a coach, which is why he said he's "extremely" happy to get a new three-year contract.
"This was the plan all along. I just want to thank Mr. Jones and the Cowboys for having faith in me and wanting to bring me back," Linehan said. "My family, we love it in Dallas. I don't think I've ever had as much fun as I did last year coaching. It wasn't just the winning. The way the organization is run, the day-to-day and working for Jason. All of it has been great."