IRVING, Texas -- One of the best things to come from the Dallas Cowboys' 2014 season was the relationship developed between Tony Romo and Scott Linehan.
They were new to each other yet hit it off right away, and the result was an offense that averaged 29.2 points per game.
"Tony's a great professional," Linehan said. "He's a great human being, before we start about his playing ability. You can have those relationships with guys that are professional like that and get it. He accepted me from the time I got here and was open to just anything. He just wants to get better at his craft and help us win. And I think he did that. He made a couple of statements about his best years are in front of him. He didn't need to say that to me because that what I wanted to hear. He truly believed that. That's so great to hear a guy, so refreshing to hear a guy at this point of his career thinking ahead ... I'm not sure a guy can have as many different playcallers or coaches that have traveled through and be able to succeed with all of them."
In 2006, Romo had Tony Sparano has his playcaller and Chris Palmer as his quarterbacks coach. From 2007-12, he had Jason Garrett as his playcaller. In 2013, it was Bill Callahan and then Linehan in 2014. Since 2007, Wade Wilson has been his position coach.
But it also says something about Linehan to come in and succeed with a player already established. He spent five years with Matthew Stafford with the Detroit Lions. Stafford was the first pick of the draft in 2009. He didn't know what he didn't know when it came to the NFL, and Linehan helped mold him into one of the game's best young quarterbacks.
It wasn't always smooth. Stafford struggled with health and interceptions, but he remained an ascending player.
Romo was entering his ninth season as a starter when he started to work with Linehan. He had seen it all and already had a lot of the answers.
"There's a lot of similarities between them even though they probably came up different," Linehan said. "One was the first pick of the draft. The other one was maybe the first pick in the free-agent pool. But neither one of them was really wired any differently. They both see themselves as great players, but humbly they do. They're also so open to coaching and I think that's why both of them are successful. Tony's got a longer career that he's been through and Matt is kind of hitting his prime, so to speak, in the NFL for a quarterback. I think both experiences have been equally beneficial for me to be able to have a background with a younger player and an older player."