Dallas Cowboys: Why Scott Linehan needs to go
The Dallas Cowboys offense is suffering at the hands of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s play-calling. It is time to make a change.
The Dallas Cowboys lost another hard to watch game in Seattle to the winless Seahawks. While the defense didn’t play lights out, it was again the offense who failed to play winning football. The most frustrating thing was not even the loss, but offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s utter refusal to change his gameplan.
I’m sure someone else will write an article on quarterback Dak Prescott‘s performance so I won’t dive into that too deeply. He did not play well, but I feel as though the play-calling is the biggest reason the offense is the eye-sore that it is.
The most difficult thing to understand as a fan is why Linehan refuses to learn. During Week One, the Cowboys lined up in predictable personnel packages and took no shots down the field. With the heat on Linehan in Week Two, he had an out-of-body experience and ran a variety of plays from different personnel groupings; he even decided to take three attempts past 20 yards!
Linehan also finally used Prescott’s read-option ability to negate the extra man in the box. It seemed as though he actually might have begun calling a modern NFL offense. Unfortunately, he reverted back to his pedestrian style for two more quarters before again miraculously calling plays that had success earlier in the game.
However, I chalked that mid-game lull to being conservative with the lead, better known as the Jason Garrett special. But this week’s contest was the nail in the coffin for me and I am sure it was for the rest of the fanbase. Not only did Linehan go back to the basic concepts he’s been berated for, but he completely ignored the elements of Week Two’s offense that gave the team life.
Dak did not have a zone read look until the latter half of the fourth quarter. Linehan did not take any aggressive shots down the field. He lived in two tight end sets and even refused to run Ezekiel Elliott consistently against a defensive line that was starting to give.
But the most insulting thing about all of this that occurred yesterday and the last few weeks is that Linehan and Jason Garrett have completely refused to give any explanations as to why they won’t use successful plays. It’s as if they think the fans of the team have no football intelligence.
We all saw how the zone read opened up the offense and allowed Prescott to gain confidence. We all saw how wide receiver Tavon Austin spreads the field and opens up the front seven of the defense. Linehan completely abandoned everything that worked the week before even though every defense does the same thing to stop the offense.
This game was the last straw for many fans and I feel as though this is Linehan’s last season. Hopefully, this means Garrett will be out as well.