When Bill Callahan was calling plays in 2013, he did it from the booth as he watched the game on the field unfold. He would then call the plays to Jason Garrett, who would either call them in from the sidelines or change them when he felt like it. According to ESPN on Wednesday, new play caller Scott Linehan will remain on the sidelines and call in the plays himself.
Linehan comes to the Cowboys after a successful stint with the Detroit Lions. He was a special hire that Jason Garrett insisted on. While Garrett and Callahan often clashed on playing styles, Garrett started his coaching career alongside Linehan with the Miami Dolphins. Both men share the same offensive philosophy and the Dallas Cowboys hope the two will be able to turn things around in 2014.
Of course, the Dallas Cowboys offense was not the problem in 2013. The offense was one of the most potent in the NFL. However, the Cowboys have often made questionable moves. In 2012, it was the offense that caused the team to lose games so Jerry Jones fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. In 2013, the defense was one of the worst in the NFL while the offense was fantastic, so Jerry Jones changed offensive play callers. This doesn’t excuse one big problem in 2013.
When Dallas was leading in games, they often continued to throw the ball and their opposition had plenty of chances to come from behind and win games late. Scott Linehan comes from a Lions team that really knew how to utilize their running game. With a healthy DeMarco Murray and an explosive Lance Dunbar, Linehan will remain on the field and hopefully use his presence to utilize the clock better than Dallas did in 2013. Either way, he will know his play calls won’t get changed on their way to the field.
The Dallas Cowboys open their preseason against the San Diego Chargers in San Diego. The game kicks off at 9:00 p.m. CST and will air nationwide on the NFL Network and locally on CBS 11.