Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: A New Playcaller For The Cowboys?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: ESPN reports that the Cowboys are looking at Scott Linehan to call plays in 2014; the Cowboys are open to drafting a QB; the new TE coach has some work to do.

Sources: Cowboys Looking At Scott Linehan To Call Offensive Plays - Blogging The Boys
Perhaps the biggest news of the day came when reports surfaced that the Cowboys have an eye on Linehan, and are discussing hiring Linehan in some capacity, possibly as the designated play-caller.

The connection between Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan | David Moore, DMN
Moore does the legwork and details the connection between Linehan and Garrett.

Linehan was the first person to hire Garrett as a coach in the NFL, selecting him to be Miami’s quarterbacks coach when he was the Dolphins offensive coordinator in 2005. Linehan was so impressed with Garrett that he hired him 10 hours after meeting him. When Linehan later became head coach of the St. Louis Rams, he unsuccessfully tried to hire Garrett as his offensive coordinator.

Reader Poll: Who should be the play caller this season? | DMN
Linehan appears to be the popular choice among the options presented, garnering 50% of the vote and holding a commanding lead over the second-placed Jason Garrett (22%).

Why Dan Bailey's signing makes sense - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer has this annoying habit of countering habitual hecklers and belligerent boo-birds ("OPEN THREAD: Dallas paid their kicker how much?!?!") with reason and facts. And he does it again as he leisurely disseminates Bailey's signing for the peanut gallery.

Polk To Be Bucs’, Not Cowboys’, New Assistant ST Coach - Rowan Kavner, DallasCowboys.com
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Polk showed up at the Senior Bowl practices in Cowboys gear, but something must have hit a snag while the contract was being finalized, and he's now signed in Tampa.

Hiring This TE Coach All About Developing Escobar - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
Eatman points out that recently hired tight ends coach Mike Pope has a good track record with young tight ends, something that should benefit Gavin Escobar and James Hanna. But you've got to wonder whether the issue is actually bigger than Eatman intimates. Fans have been all too happy to blame Jerry Jones for a succession of draft picks at TE that didn't pan out in Dallas, but what if it's been primarily a coaching issue all along?

Anybody can coach Jason Witten, or as Eatman writes "Witten coaches himself." That leaves a string of tight ends (Anthony Fasano, Martellus Bennet, John Phillips and others) who didn't make it in Dallas for various reasons, but are still productive in the league for other teams. The Cowboys let former TE Coach John Garrett go a year ago and let Wes Phillips move to Washington after both Escobar and Hanna had disappointing seasons. Perhaps Pope will be able to fix what may be more a coaching than a talent issue.

Jerry Jones lays out his thinking on drafting a QB: not high and not to sit and develop for somebody else - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Nothing gets the adrenalin pumping quicker among draftniks than the possibility of drafting a quarterback. Jerry Jones cautions that he has no intention of drafting a 'developmental QB' who could ultimately end up playing for somebody else.

"I don’t anticipate drafting a quarterback high with where we are with Romo, especially one that might play immediately," Jones said at the Senior Bowl. "And several of these guys in today’s NFL are playing pretty quick – Wilson and Kapernick and those guys who are move-around types. Some of those guys who take a little more seasoning are your traditional quarterbacks, so all of that would figure in. An early pick would be more inclined to be one that you would say, ‘Use now.’ "

"When you draft out of that first round, those are four-year contracts and three-year contracts as you go down," Jones said. "So to some degree, you’re just drafting one to develop for somebody else."

Stephen Jones: I'm open to the Cowboys drafting a quarterback | DMN
Stephen Jones gives many draftniks a shot of Adrenalin by not ruling out anything and saying the Cowboys are always open to drafting a QB.

"You always have to be open to that," Jones said at the Senior Bowl this week. "Yeah, and whether it’s a guy ultimately one day, your future, even if it's at some point it enables you to not have a better (more expensive) backup, that saves you money if you’re able to get on a guy like that, so we’re always open to it."

There's a path to follow if Josh Brent wants to return to the NFL, and the Cowboys still hold his rights | Brandon George, DMN
George details what needs to happen for Brent to return to an NFL career, and that he could face some "hiccups" along the way, most likely in the form of Roger Goddell. This somber article closes with a line that causes some unintentional levity:

"And he isn’t exactly an ideal fit for the Cowboys since they’ve switched defensive schemes."

Tell us: Would you want Josh Brent back with the Cowboys? | DMN
The DMN has a reader poll up that currently shows that about two thirds of the readers would want Brent back with the Cowboys.

Cowboys Pro Bowlers Split Between Rice, Sanders | Scott Crisp, NBC DFW
Not that it matters much, but DeMarco Murray, Tyron Smith, and Jason Hatcher will play for team Rice, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will play for team Sanders.

Bears hire two former Cowboys coaches, Pasqualoni and Herring - Bears Gab
The Bears on Thursday announced two new hires, defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni (various positions with Cowboys from 2005-07 and 2010) and linebackers coach Reggie Herring (Cowboys’ LB coach from 2008-10).

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