Scott Linehan

The Dallas Cowboys have an offensive coordinator, Bill Callahan. That didn’t stop them from hiring Scott Linehan for what right now is unspecified role, but it should involve calling the offensive players, marking another offseason of major change under Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett.

Linehan was the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions from 2009 to 2013. The Lions posted the 6th best total offense in 2013, averaging 392.1 yards per game. That didn’t help them make the playoffs, leading to Jim Schwartz being fired, and Linehan being let go shortly afterwards.

Right now Linehan is the passing game coordinator for the Cowboys, but that role might change into something bigger very soon. Bill Callahan was the offensive coordinator (and offensive line coach) this season, calling the offensive plays. He isn’t happy about the hiring, which means he might consider his options; not resigning, but making himself available for other teams to sign him.

Callahan helped rebuild the offensive line into a much more respectable unit this season (getting one pro bowler out of the group as well), while the Cowboys posted the 16th best offensive unit in the league: DeMarco Murray ran for over 1000 yards, which is a first for a Cowboys running back since 2006. Tony Romo had 31 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions; Dez Bryant made the Pro Bowl and had his second consecutive 1000-yard season to go along with 13 touchdown receptions.

However, Jason Garrett was never happy with the Callahan hiring; it was something landed on him last season, with his play calling responsibilities stripped away. Linehan is someone he is much closer to and feels more comfortable with. The Cowboys did score a lot last season (27.4 points per game, 5th in the NFL) but also posted a low in yards (5,461 yards, the fewest by the Cowboys since 2005.).

Callahan had to do a lot of learning last season, coming from the West Coast offense school, adapting to the timing-based offense the Cowboys have used since 2007, usually under Garrett. Romo was used more than before, which might have cost the Cowboys a game or two, with the team criticized for not running the ball more often in the second half.

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