Scott Linehan’s official title with the Dallas Cowboys is passing game coordinator, but that’s not fooling anyone. He is the offensive coordinator for the team, plain and simple, even though there is someone on the staff in Bill Callahan that holds that title.
As a play-caller Linehan is known for calling a great deal more pass plays than run plays. But that looks to be changing. And with the pieces in place along the Cowboys offensive line, the addition of first-round pick Zack Martin, and productive-when-healthy running back DeMarco Murray, he definitely should be looking to run the ball. Here’s what Linehan said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News.
“This is a great young front,” Linehan said. “It was already an offensive line that was really meshing and playing well. We don’t have to have this certain look to run the ball. We feel like we can line up and say, ‘Hey, if they’re going to drop guys into the box, we still feel like we’ve got the guys that can get it done.’ And then that helps everything. That opens everything on the outside of the field.”
In this article by Jon Machota, he points out some of the benefits of the Cowboys running the ball more – the biggest of which in my mind is the fact that quarterback Tony Romo’s shelf-life will be extended by the uptick in rushing attempts. You don’t have to look long and hard to see that there is no other quarterback on the roster that is capable of taking this team to the post season. Like him or not, Romo is the only answer Dallas has right now, and as funny as this might sound after my previous statement, the ball needs to be taken out of his hands a little more than it has been in past years.
This team is built to pound the ball down opponents’ throats.
Linehan doesn’t need to take the passing game out of the equation – because Dallas has some serious threats that scare opposing secondaries. What he needs to do – and has alluded to in some of his comments – is to lean more on the running game and don’t go away from it if things start off a little slow. The Cowboys running backs have been waiting for a line like this for a while. A smash-mouth, physical young group has been assembled to protect Romo and make holes for the backs. Now they just need the green light.