INDIANAPOLIS -- For the second consecutive offseason, Jason Garrett is moving further away from the offensive controls of the Dallas Cowboys.
Scott Linehan replaced Bill Callahan as offensive coordinator and primary play-caller, reuniting with Garrett, a co-worker when both were assistant coaches on Nick Saban's staff with the Miami Dolphins.
"The biggest things we've tried to do is move toward the responsibilities of a head coach," Garrett said.
"With Scott being there and Scott calling the plays, he'll have a role similar to mine for a number of years," said Garrett. "I understand how he works. What he's trying to get accomplished. For a lot of reasons, I felt like this was the right fit."
For the third straight season, the Cowboys changed the nameplate on the defensive coordinator's office door. Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli replaced Monte Kiffin after the Cowboys finished 32nd in total defense and 30th against the pass one year removed from Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme.
The Cowboys are hampered by a tight salary cap situation, projected to be over the $130 million expected 2014 league year cap with key free agents on both sides of the ball.
Vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys will figure it out, but the process is expected to be painful. It could include parting with defensive end DeMarcus Ware, the team's all-time leading sacker, and long-time receiver Miles Austin because of their age, injury history, declining play and high cap figures.
Ware, 32, who had just six sacks last year and has undergone offseason surgery for a second straight year, has a $16 million cap figure along with a $12 million base salary for next year.
The Cowboys are considering all options with Ware, including asking him to take a pay cut or releasing him outright.
"There's a bunch of options," Jones said. "You can restructure. You can take a pay cut. You can obviously not have the player. And it's not just DeMarcus. There's several players we have to look at."
Austin, 29, caught just 24 passes for 244 yards last year. He has an $8.2 million cap figure for 2014 and the Cowboys could save $5.5 million by cutting him.
Quarterback Tony Romo, signed to a $108 million contract with $55 million guaranteed in March 2013, will undoubtedly return but is recovering from back surgery.
Linehan is not yet permitted to formally meet with Romo, but Garrett said they've reviewed cut-ups and have adjustments and corrections ready to review when the offseason program begins April 21.
"In order for him to do that, he's got to get that back right," Garrett said. "He looks good, he's just got to get himself healthy. We think he's an awful good football player. He plays very hard. He's got great mental and physical toughness. We're just excited to see him on his road to recovery."
Garrett said he reminded his coaches of the sense of urgency in the facility and received the expected, positive response.
"We feel like we've been close the last three years to win the division but we haven't gotten it done. We live with that reality."
If the money matters take Ware and top defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, the Cowboys have clear needs to address in May. For now, the focus is polishing the "Tampa Two" scheme.
"Rod and Monte spent a lot of time together so we feel like philosophically that will be a smooth transition," Garrett said. "Hopefully from year to year you have your system in place and the identity begins to form. The philosophy will be the same.
"We think Rod is suited for this job. He's been a great coach in this league. We felt like it was time for him to take that role. The relationship that both he and Kiff had for years is a positive one. Kiff will be, we call him the assistant head coach of defense. We feel like it's a good situation. ... We want to make sure they're in the right seats on the bus."