From 2007-12, it was Jason Garrett. In 2013, it was Bill Callahan. Now it's Linehan.
With Rod Marinelli now the Cowboys' defensive coordinator, the defense will have its third leader in as many years. In 2012, it was Rob Ryan. In 2013, it was Monte Kiffin. If you want to go back to when Garrett took over as the interim head coach in 2010, Marinelli is his fourth defensive coordinator, with Paul Pasqualoni calling the defense during the final eight games of that season.
To Garrett, the names may change but the systems endure.
"We believe in continuity and if you look at the offensive system, it's been in place for seven years," Garrett said. "The transition to Scott will really be relatively smooth. I think that's a positive thing for our players, as is his experience and what he'll bring. We view that as a positive. We think this will be a smooth transition and bring some positive elements that come when you have a new coach and some of the things he can bring to the table.
"I think the same thing on defense. The system, the transition happened last year from the 3-4 to the 4-3 and Monte was such an important part of that transition with Rod and the rest of the defensive staff. The system is in place and we'll continue to grow. Roles change but freshness is viewed as a positive."
Garrett said Linehan has a similar philosophy offensively, which means both bend (not lean) toward the pass over the run. But Linehan will also bring change to an offense that has been the same for seven seasons.
On defense, Marinelli learned from Kiffin for all of those years in Tampa Bay, but how they run their schemes is not identical.
"They're absolutely aligned but there will always be some evolution that you have from guy to guy and year to year," Garrett said. "That's part of the process of just going through everything. What we're doing now is evaluating last year. We started our cut-ups today and going through those and we'll decide what was good for us and build on that and look at wasn't as good as we would've liked and decide what to do with that as we continue to grow and evolve. Rod will have things he's done in the past he likes and Monte from his perspective will look at it and make recommendations as will the other guys on the defensive staff. It will always be a collaborative effort."