Cowboys Fire OC Scott Linehan

Days after receiving a vote of confidence from head coach Jason GarrettScott Linehan is out of a job. The offensive coordinator has been dismissed, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Soon after Rapoport’s report, the Cowboys made it official with a formal announcement.

According to a statement from Garrett released by the team, this was a “mutual decision” between the Cowboys and the Linehan:

This was not an easy decision because of how highly we regard Scott Linehan as a football coach and as a person. He and I had some really positive, substantive and open discussions which took place in the latter part of this week, and we ultimately agreed that it would be in the best interest of all of the parties involved if we were to make a change at this (offensive coordinator) position,” Garrett said. “This was very much a mutual decision, and there was a great deal of common ground and shared understanding between both of us during our meetings. Scott has had an incredibly positive impact on our football team. He has been instrumental in the development and success of a significant number of our veteran and younger players. He is an outstanding football coach, a great friend and we wish him and his family nothing but the absolute best moving forward.”

On Monday, Garrett told a local radio station that he did not foresee any changes to the coaching staff. Hours later, in a separate interview, he said that nothing was firm either way. Later, Jerry Jones did an interview of his own in which he made it clear that Garrett was not the one making the decision.

There were factors out of Linehan’s control – including the absence of offensive line anchor Travis Frederick – but there’s no way to sugarcoat it: the Cowboys offense underperformed in 2018. The midseason addition of wide receiver Amari Cooper opened things up, but the Cowboys ultimately did not have confidence in Linehan’s ability to steer the ship.

The Cowboys averaged 343.8 yards per game in 2018, good for just 22nd in the NFL. They also finished tenth in rushing yards, which fell below expectations given the presence of Ezekiel Elliott and the team’s reputation for having one of the NFL’s best offensive lines.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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41 comments on “Cowboys Fire OC Scott Linehan

  1. OCTraveler

    At least this is one job Kliff Kingsbury won’t be rumored to have interest in …

    Won’t surprise me if Jerry hires someone who can be the OC/Head Coach in waiting until he fires Garrett – maybe a Mike McCoy or Bill Musgrave type of hire

    • kenleyfornia2

      I have never got an NFLTR notification until this. Maybe they just want the whole world to know about the firing

      • Thronson5

        I normally get alerts about my team..the 49ers but just thought it was weird I got an alert about the cowboys so I read the full article to make sure it did r mention the 9ers somewhere and it didn’t lol. I guess you’re right, they wanted everyone to know. Not sure why but maybe it’s a big deal to they think lol.

  2. Peterd

    Linehan took the rap for Garrett. I still can’t get that picture out of my head of Garrett smiling/ laughing and hugging Sean McVay after that loss. Obviously very content losing

    • tsolid

      What is he suppose to do? Fight him at the handshake? Stomp off the field like a Big Baby? They got beat by the better team. The player smile, hug opposing players, exchange jerseys AFTER the game is over.

      • Chun

        Damn right that’s what we expect, we need a new culture and attitude is a must!!

  3. of9376

    Kellen Moore has to go next. He has no business being a QB coach of an NFL team.

  4. AndyMeyer

    I love every minute of the Cowboys failure. And they did the best thing! Played well enough to save Garrett’s job; a guy who has won 2 playoff games in 8 seasons. Stay delusional Jerry!

  5. Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

    I wish Jerrah would have promoted Linehan to HC and fired Howdy Dummy

    • earmbrister

      Brilliant Ghost. Linehan’s head coaching record in the NFL is 11-25.

      • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

        You can’t compare Linehan’s Lions teams to these Cowboy teams. I’m sure if you gave Linehan, Me, You, or a blind dog the reigns the last 9 seasons with these Cowboy teams we coulda won 2 playoff games. These teams were not void of talent. Garrett should have at the very least got to the conference championship by accident.

        • earmbrister

          The Cowboys had a crap defense for most of the last decade. The defense is just now coming together with the last few drafts.

          Dallas had arguably the WORST receiving corps in the NFL to start the season. Adding Cooper made their receivers average. The year before Dez was awful. There’s a reason that no one signed him until mid year.

          They had no proven TEs to start the season, and then lost Swaim (their only TE with receptions before this year).

          The Cowboys are heading in the right direction, despite your Jerrah and Howdy Dummy comments. What r u, an Eagles fan?

          • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

            No, I’m a lifelong Cowboy Fan, (however not a homer) and at this rate I’ll be waiting the rest of my life to see the Cowboys to win another title.

            • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

              BTW, I’m not sure a playoff appearance and early exit every once every 3 years (on avg under Howdy) is “heading in the right direction.

              • earmbrister

                Glad to hear you’re a Cowboys fan. Good that you’re not a homer, but you might try being a realist. The Cowboys stunk when Garrett took over (but he went 5-3 in 2010 after taking over for a 1-7 Wade Phillips). Yeah, he went 8-8 the next three years, but that should be considered an accomplishment with the players that he had. The Boys had no OL, no DL, and a lousy secondary. For instance, the 2011 starters on the O line included such stalwarts as Montrae Holland, Phil Costa, and Kyle Kosier. Felix Jones started 8 games that year at RB. 2012 starters on the O line included the undrafted Nate Livings, Ryan Cook, and 7th rounder Carolina castoff Mackenzy Bernadeau. Newcomers Ronald Leary and Travis Frederick finally turned the line around in 2013, though it was the first (playing) season for both. Kenyon Coleman started 15 G at DE in 2011, while George Selvie came off of his couch to start 16 G at DE in 2013 and 13 G in 2014. Nick Hayden started 16 G at DT in 2013 and 2014. Jeremy Mincey started 16 G at DE in 2014. These are bad players getting the majority of snaps in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 along both lines. Even fans know that you build a football team from the inside out, starting with the O line and the D line.

                The Cowboys finally spent legit draft capital on the lines this decade. They spent 1st rounders on Smith, Frederick, and Martin in 2011, 2013, and 2014. The spent high picks (2nd rounders) on Lawrence and Gregory in 2014 and 2015, but Gregory couldn’t put the hash pipe down until this year. The 2016 draft brought us Elliott, Jaylon Smith (didn’t play in 16), Maliek Collins, Dak Prescott, Kavon Frazier, and Anthony Brown. An amazing haul in 2016. A poor secondary was turned over in 2017, with a secondary heavy draft. I couldn’t be happier with the 2018 draft with LVE, Conor Williams, and Gallup as the first 3 selections. Meanwhile, they’ve stayed away from free agency and now are some $ 55 Million under the cap this offseason. Jaylon Smith and Randy Gregory are just now making an impact on defense. They need a quality run stuffing DT to largely finish the defensive rebuild.

                The Joneses that you seem to rail against are not the same guys they were twenty years ago. Jerry’s deals for Joey Galloway (2000) and Roy Williams (2008) are things of the past. Steven talked him out of drafting Johnny Manziel in 2014. The drafts have been above average now for most of the decade, and the middle to late round drafting has gotten much better. They’ve parted ways with players like Dez Bryant and Dan Bailey and were proven right on both counts. I thought they were nuts on Bailey, but they had that pegged. Meanwhile, Garrett has done a good job coaching. His clock management has gone from poor to solid. The only bad year the Cowboys have had under Garrett came when Romo went down twice with a broken collarbone in 2015, and we had Brandon Weedan, Kellen Moore, and Matt Cassel starting games at QB. Garrett has had the team in the playoffs for 3 of the last five years. Putting aside not having a QB in 2015, Garrett’s only other non-playoff season the last 5 years was a 9-7 team in 2017. Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have been quality now for quite some time. Linehan, not so much. Yeah, they certainly are heading in the right direction. The roster is solid and very young. Think Super Bowl in 2019 or 20.

                • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

                  I am a realist my Cowboy draft/personnel pundit and here’s what I realize….
                  Duk hasn’t taken the “next step” as a QB, and it’s pretty clear to see. His career high in TD passes is 23 which he did his rookie season. He turned the ball over 15? times this season (INTs-Fumbles lost, 12 fumbles total) He was also sacked over 50 times which is alarming considering he’s mobile, his offensive line is amongst the NFLs best, and Dallas isn’t exactly a pass first offense. This guy has no pocket awareness whatsoever, and this was his 3rd full year as a starter. Big Red Flag in my opinion.

                  I realize Dallas has built quite the roster (through the draft) the last 3-5 years. Do you realize Dallas has mostly of all this talent, (offense line being the only real exclusion) on rookie contracts?Do you realize what’s going to happen if/when they pay Duk somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30M per season after his rookie deal is up? Cooper, Elliott, LVE, Jaylon Smith, and the starting corners all on soon to be expiring rookie deals. That 55M isn’t isn’t going to extend all those guys, and if Duk gets the lions share? That’s a very scary thought.

                  I also realize Dallas has qualified for the postseason 3 of the last 5. Do you realize however that at the time of Alex Smith’s injury this year the Redskins were running away with the NFC East?

                  I think we will have to just agree to disagree on Duk and Coach Howdy. I see them as the Marvin Lewis/Andy Dalton of the NFC and you (based on your Super Bowl Prediction) must see them more like Reid/Mahomes. My hope is that Jerrah doesn’t extend Duk this offseason, drafts a mid-round developmental QB, and lets next season play out. If Duk shows improvement, he’s getting paid, if he isn’t considerably better next year, he’s not a franchise level QB and you let him walk because right now he’s not a difference maker, he’s just another Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill.

                  I closing I refuse to even debate Howdy Dooty with you. 9 years 2 playoff wins. I defy you find another NFL Coach with 9 years and 2 playoff wins under his belt. Howdy Dooty is nothing more than Jerrah’s Puppet, everyone knows it and it’s a complete embarrassment. Enough said.

                  • earmbrister

                    Yeah, the name calling (Duk, Jerrah, and Hoody Dooty) is cute, but it doesn’t change the facts.

                    Dak is one of only THREE QBs in NFL history to have 22+ TD passes in each of their first three seasons (joining Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck). Dak has had 14 game winning drives in his career. That’s the most of any QB in NFL history in a player’s first three seasons. He’s one of only 5 current NFL QBs that have led their teams to 3 consecutive winning seasons. He’s won 65% of his games and has a 96 QB rating. Yeah, and you compare him to Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton, and would have the Cowboys move on from him. Thankfully Jones is the GM and not you.

                    You would not re-sign a successful starting QB because of other expiring rookie deals? Really? LVE was a rookie this year, AND a first rounder, so his rookie deal won’t be expiring for another 4 years. Another player you cited, Jaylon Smith expires a year from now. Are you not re-signing your QB so that you can keep your LB’s? Prescott’s rookie deal is not up for another year. Elliott’s rookie deal is not up for another two years. The most important positions on the field are QB, your LT, a pass rushing DE, and a cover CB. The Cowboys are $55 Million under the cap this year. You re-sign DeMarcus Lawrence. And then you re-sign your up and coming QB. He’s not going to be cheaper a year from now. Any leftover $ go to re-signing Bryon Jones. If cap money becomes tight TWO years from now, you let Elliott walk. RB is one of the easiest positions to fill.

                    Meanwhile, Garrett has a .566 win %. Like I said earlier, he had a lousy team from 2010-2013 and he still had a winning record. In 2015, he lost Romo twice to a broken collarbone, and had Weedan, Moore, and Cassell at QB, hence a 4-12 record. In the 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons, the Cowboys have averaged 11 wins. They have one of the youngest teams in the NFL and they’re poised for much success.

                    • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

                      WOW! 22 TD’s or more his first 3 years! Dude he’s thrown 23,22,22 in his first 3 years. Since when is 22 TDs impressive?
                      You keep saying Duk is “up and coming” and “just wins games”. Let me tell you, the come from behind victory stat is maybe the most deceiving stat in the NFL. So Dallas takes possession of the ball down 1 or 2 points, let’s pretend they’re in their own territory 3-4 minutes remain, handoff to Zeke, handoff to Zeke, screen pass to (you guessed it) ZEKE, maybe sprinkle in some check downs to Jarwin or Swaim, are you following? Next thing you know, on comes the kicker (current or former) as time expires for a 35 yard game winner! Chalk up another game winner for Duk! Way to get those impressive Duk TD and comeback stats directly from the Dallas website by the way.
                      Here’s a stat for you, Duk (despite the fact that he plays behind one of the NFLs best O-lines) has had his sack totals go up every year since he joined the league from 25 to 32 and last season 56! You won’t see that one on the Cowboys website. Can you explain? He’s a mobile guy. My explanation is poor pocket awareness, which should be improving after 3 years. Wouldn’t you agree? His turnovers… year 1…9…year 2…16….last year 15. Improving?

                      I would like to correct something from my previous posts however…. I was wrong to compare Duk’s first 3 years to Tannehill and Dalton. Looks like I gave him too much credit….. Daltons 1st 3 seasons….. Year 1…..3398 yards 20 TD
                      Year 2… 3669 27 TD
                      Year 3…. 4293 33 TD
                      Tannehill first 3 years…..
                      Year 1….3294 12TD
                      Year 2…. 3913 24TD
                      Year 3 ……4045 27TD
                      Duk first 3 years….
                      Year 1…..3667 23TD
                      Year 2…. 3324 22 TD
                      Year 3…..3885 22 TD
                      So as you can see Dalton and Tannehill actually showed significant improvement their first 3 seasons. Duk, not so much. Dalton and Tannehill also didn’t have their sack total climb significantly 3 straight seasons.

                      Like I said before we can agree to disagree. I don’t think locking up Duk is on top of my priority list. Let next season play out. Howdy is calling plays again next year, I’d bet on another 3k yards and 22 or so TDs. 4 straight seasons of that isn’t worth handing over the franchise which is what teams do when they hand over $200M contracts.

  6. crosseyedlemon

    As compensation for services rendered all Jerry’s employees get a tour of his love boat.

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