The Dallas Cowboys have finally made an announcement on hiring Scott Linehan, and also have made some other major changes in responsibilities, something that was predicted earlier by Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett.
The Dallas Cowboys announced today the hiring of Scott Linehan as the team's passing game coordinator. Linehan, a former head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-2008), was most recently the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions from 2009 to 2013. Linehan will also take on the role of being the Cowboys offensive play caller for the 2014 season.
It was also announced that Bill Callahan would still be the offensive coordinator and line coach. I am not really sure how exactly that is going to work out, although Garrett was full of positive things to say about it. The prevailing interpretation is that this is a Garrett move all the way. And there was more about the staff.
Presiding over the worst defense in Dallas Cowboys has earned Monte Kiffin a new job title.
Kiffin was named assistant head coach/defense on Tuesday night, while Rod Marinelli was promoted to defensive coordinator.
It is hard to see this as anything other than a kick upstairs for Kiffin. This is exactly the kind of move that has been speculated about since the end of the season, with a face-saving job for Kiffin that also will allow him to work with the team, while putting the main weight of coming up with the defensive game plan on Marinelli. There is no word on exactly how the defensive calls will be made during the game.
Garrett says Marinelli will continue as d-line coach but will get help from Leon Lett and Ben Bloom— Nick Eatman (@nickeatman) January 29, 2014
The former Dallas head coach is skeptical about whether the move to hire Linehan is going to work, both because of the confusing picture of how the offensive game planning is going to work and the effect this may have on the running game.
"That's a lot of cooks, right," Johnson said. "I really don't know (Linehan) that well. The only concern I would have is that one of the problems with the cowboys is at times they have abandoned the run with DeMarco Murray and I don't recall Detroit being a power running football team. Hey, I don't know. The only people who know are the ones who are there and even they don't know and won't find out until next season."
The former quarterback under Johnson has his own reservations about what the Cowboys are doing, but he had a hand in instigating the relationship between Garrett and Linehan that indirectly led to this.
You may know that Scott Linehan was the first person to hire Jason Garrett as a coach in the NFL, selecting him to be Miami's quarterbacks coach when he was the Dolphins offensive coordinator in 2005.
Did you know a call from former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman preceded the hire?
"Jason was looking for a job and hadn't coached yet,'' Aikman said. "I called Scott and left him a voicemail and told him if I was
starting a business, no matter what the business was, Jason would be one of the first guys I would call to be a part of it. I talked about how smart he was.
It is hardly a surprise that these moves are going to draw criticism. The biggest issue seems to be just how Callahan is going to fit after reports that he was going to take offense if Linehan was hired. The most puzzling part of the situation is that there was an easy way to let Callahan move on.
The Cowboys are denying Bill Callahan, who was demoted from playcaller to offensive line coach in favor of Scott Linehan, the opportunity to work for somebody else.Callahan isn't happy with the demotion and is thinking about his future, which is tied to just one year remaining on his contract. The Cleveland Browns would like to speak with Callahan and possibly hire him as their offensive coordinator/playcaller.
This certainly doesn't seem to add up. I don't know of too many cases where a person who was forced against their will to stay in a job gave it their best effort. (See Jeremiah Ratliff.)
While almost everything written today dealt with the coaching situation, there was a nice article on the mothership talking about the actual game performances in Mobile.
What is going to be the trick for the Cowboys scouting staff when they are putting this board together is how they separate how these "Tweener" defensive ends and linebackers.
In this Senior Bowl, there were several. I mentioned Michael Sam earlier, but there was also Dee Ford, Chris Smith, Marcus Smith, Trent Murphy and Kareem Martin. We all saw what Ford was able to do in the game with his consistent pressure.
Given that the class is thought by some to be a bit shallow in defensive line talent, finding someone who can move into an edge rusher role might be a big part of fixing the problems the Cowboys had last year.