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Jason Garrett: Building continues

IRVING, Texas -- When Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, he thought he would have a coach last as long as Tom Landry did.

"I thought, 'Well, shoot, I'll get a coach and we'll be sitting here 20 years from now looking back at what we'd done and we'll be just going along here. We'll have our ups and downs and that's how it works,' " Jones said. "Well, we all know it doesn't work that way."

By signing Jason Garrett to what sources say is a five-year deal worth $30 million to continue coaching the Cowboys, Jones has the closest thing he has ever had to Landry in his tenure as owner and general manager.

Garrett finished his fourth full season as Cowboys coach and is now signed through 2019. He has an overall record of 42-32 and took the Cowboys to the playoffs for the first time as their coach after posting a 12-4 record to win the NFC East this season.

"We started something four years ago when I became the head coach," Garrett said. "It's a word I think about really each and every day when I wake up and throughout the day, it's 'build.' We want to build a football team that everyone who is associated with our football team is proud of. I feel like we've done that.

"The work is not done . . . We're excited about the opportunities in 2015 to build on some of the things we did this past season."

Jones also announced three-year deals with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan, who was named the offensive coordinator after calling plays in 2014 as the passing game coordinator. Jones said the pay range for Marinelli and Linehan would make them among the highest-paid assistant coaches in the NFL.

While sources said Bill Callahan left for the Washington Redskins on Thursday, Garrett said he expects the rest of the staff to return and the Cowboys are just awaiting signatures on some contracts. Frank Pollack will take over for Callahan as the team's offensive line coach.

For the first time since 2012, the Cowboys will have the same offensive and defensive playcallers in back-to-back years when they kick off in 2015.

Once Garrett finishes the 2015 season, he will have the second-longest tenure, behind Landry, in team history.

"When you have that kind of continuity, you gain an edge," Jones said. "It's up to each of you to not grow careless with your relationship and take things for granted, [but] to keep it fresh and keep contributing to the success. Knowing who you are counting on is a big thing."

Garrett played for the Cowboys from 1993 to '99. He returned as an offensive coordinator in 2007, and took over as the interim coach after Wade Phillips was fired in the middle of the 2010 season.

The historical nature of Jones' commitment to him was not lost on Garrett, but it's not his focus, either. He appreciates the franchise's history and his place in it, but when he took over, he had a long-term view on what he wanted to build.

Slowly it is coming together. The Cowboys went through three straight 8-8 finishes from 2011 to '13, losing Week 17 finales each time and missing the playoffs before breaking through this season.

Only nine players remain from Garrett's first season as coach. The team is slowly taking the vision he had when he took over.

"I think we're getting closer, I do," Garrett said. "I think we play the right way and have the right kind of guys. I do think we have some cornerstone pieces in place that have helped our football team get to this point. Now the challenge is, OK, now we have to build on it. We have to take the next step. We have to keep bringing these players in and keep playing that way."