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Cowboys news: Rumors swirling about potential replacements for Cowboys OC Scott Linehan

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For a team that originally tried to sell the idea they weren’t moving on from Linehan, their actions contradict that.

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Werder, former NFL beat reporter for ESPN, has heard that changes are quite possible at offensive coordinator despite contradicting comments earlier this week by Jason Garrett.

Report: Cowboys checked out mystery coach in past 48 hours, raising questions about OC Linehan's future
A report came out about Cowboys reaching out to a recently-hired coach, which has the internet buzzing about potential replacement offensive coordinators for Scott Linehan.

John DeFilippo, Jacksonville Jaguars

DeFilippo was fired midseason by the Minnesota Vikings. He was called out publicly by head coach Mike Zimmer for not running the ball enough and wanting to rely on the team’s $28 million arm of Kirk Cousins. He came from the EaglesSuper Bowl championship staff as QB coach that helped Carson Wentz turn the corner and rejuvenated Nick Foles career.

Could Cowboys replace OC Linehan within current staff?- Patrick Conn- WFAA.com
The Cowboys are still mulling over their options at offensive coordinator, including sticking with Scott Linehan, but could a promotion from within replace him?

Doug Nussmeier’s loyalties could lie with Linehan as he was brought in under Scott after joining him with the Rams, but he also has ties to Saban. Since Jason Garrett is a part of Saban’s lineage, Nussmeier would perhaps be more likely to stay under Garrett if the opportunity arose. Also, unlike Campbell, Nussmeier has experience calling plays, just not at the NFL level. Promoting Nussmeier would likely be a seamless transition for the team as the system and terminology would be the same for Dak and the offense.

The Cowboys aren’t likely to make any (major) changes to the staff until after the Pro Bowl, which they will be in charge of coaching. Following the Super Bowl or the week of, these are the four names who most likely will be in play for calling plays for the Dallas Cowboys heading into the offseason.

Are the Cowboys looking to the remaining playoff teams for a new offensive coordinator? -David Howman- Blogging The Boys
Is it possible the Cowboys will replace Scott Linehan with one of these guys?

Shane Waldron

Waldron is currently with the Rams serving as their tight ends coach and passing game coordinator. Last season he was just the tight ends coach for Los Angeles, but he was elevated to the new role in the offseason and became more involved in creating weekly gameplans and developing the passing offense. He had past experience with Sean McVay, having worked with him as an offensive quality control coach with the Redskins in 2016.

He also spent two seasons working with the Patriots on offense from 2008 to 2009, which gave him experience working for both Josh McDaniels and Bill O’Brien. Waldron has become a somewhat high profile name, as he was interviewed by the Bengals for their head coaching position. It’s possible that he could follow Taylor to Cincinnati, but if not the Cowboys may be dazzled by the McVay effect and give Waldron his first offensive coordinator job.

Could Cowboys take familiar route in handling Scott Linehan- Patrik Walker-247Sports
The Cowboys have a history of interesting ways to deal with coaches who have become unfavorable, will they do something similar with Scott Linehan.

According to NFL insider Ed Werder, the Cowboys have “inquired about the interest/availability of at least one prominent offensive NFL assistant coach”.

The name of the coach remains a mystery, at least for now, and Werder went on to note the individual has since accepted a job elsewhere.

There are several ways the Linehan saga could play out, with handing him a pink slip being the most obvious and by far the cleanest way to handle things. The hitch in that plan is timing, because the Cowboys have waited just long enough to watch highly-qualified coordinator talent fly off the board. It’s rapidly becoming slim pickings, and that means they’ll also begin to lean a bit more inside of the organization in the hopes of finding a new play-caller. Even if Linehan does remain, I’d expect there’d be a major shuffling of titles and responsibilities, giving the longtime OC more of a “halo” role -- while someone else lands full-time play-calling duties.

Can the Cowboys build on comeback season with the current OC Scott Linehan in the fold? Tim-Cowlishaw | SportsDay
Are the loud callings for a change at the offensive coordinator position justified after the amazing comeback by the Cowboys?

Is there any way the Cowboys’ offense can improve under Scott Linehan next season?

Cowlishaw: Organically, yes. They have young talent that can grow and get better. Can Linehan have better luck with play-calling inside the 20? Of course. You can’t say every time the team had a breakdown or a holding call to stop drives, to turn touchdowns into field goals, it was on Linehan. That’s just ridiculous to put that much on the play-caller. But would it be more interesting to see what Dak Prescott does with a new set of eyes on him? Yes, it would.

The Cowboys actually did make a few coaching moves outside of all this speculation:

Leon Lett will remain on Cowboys staff, Doug Colman won’t- Josh Alper- Yahoo Sports
The Cowboys are making some slight moves on their coaching staff, starting with retaining OL coach Marc Colombo and DL coach Leon Lett. Special teams assistant Colman is out.

Assistant special teams coach Doug Colman is the first coach moving on this offseason.

Colman joined the Cowboys staff a year ago to work under special teams coordinator Keith O’Quinn. He was previously on Bill O’Brien’s staff in Houston and had a five-year NFL playing career as a linebacker.

Thursday also brought multiple reports that Leon Lett will remain as the team’s assistant defensive line coach. The longtime Cowboys defensive lineman has been on the staff since 2011. The Cowboys also announced this week that offensive line coach Marc Colombo will return.

Troy Aikman: Cowboys have work to do in the passing game as it was reoccurring theme in struggles- Sam Quinn-247Sports
The former Super Bowl-winning quarterback states the obvious, the Cowboys passing game is still a work-in-progress.

“When teams are able to slow down Ezekiel Elliott, (the Cowboys) just haven’t really had an answer in being able to beat people throwing the football. If you say what does it look like big picture, then yeah, you can say run Dak (Prescott) a little bit more, let’s get a little creative with some of the jet sweeps and some of the window dressing that we see from the Rams, Saints and Chiefs. But at the end of the day, you have to be able to beat people throwing the football, if that’s what’s required. And the Cowboys simply have not been able to do that consistently.”

NFL playoffs: Dallas Cowboys dealt reality check in loss to Rams-Jarrett Bell-USA Today
Three years in to a new era, is the divisional round just their ceiling?

Maybe the Cowboys will learn from this. Perhaps they can make schematic adjustments. Maybe the intensity will go up a notch. Like every team, there will be personnel tweaks here or there.

Just to get to this point represents a sign that they have something decent to build on. The Cowboys were 3-5 back in November, but emerged as one of the hottest teams in the NFL down the stretch, with Amari Cooper’s presence showing how much more capable Dak Prescott can be as a thrower. With Elliott and the scrappy defense featuring Smith and rookie Leighton Vander Esch (the young linebackers often lost in space on Saturday night).

And they never quit on their often-embattled coach, Garrett, who has won two playoff games in his eight full seasons at the helm but has hardly lost his team. The Cowboys didn’t bail on Garrett when the season seemed lost at the halfway point and they kept clawing on Saturday night when it appeared the game was on the verge of becoming a blowout.

Conference title participants used Cowboys “bread and butter” better than Cowboys- Mickey Spagnola- Dallas Cowboys
Weeks like this are the toughest but especially so when you see the four teams remaining used the Cowboys formula better than they could.

Funny thing going into these conference championship games. Teams that RAN the ball well this past weekend won: Rams 273 yards rushing, Kansas City 180, Patriots’ Sony Michel 129 with three touchdowns, and Saints 137 … Also, every team playing at home in the second round won, maybe a reason why the Cowboys have lost six straight second-round playoff games, five of those on the road … And in the Cowboys’ last four NFC title-game losses, all were on the road, at San Francisco (1994), at Washington (1982), at San Francisco (1981) and at Philadelphia (1980). The Cowboys’ last road playoff win, period, was the 1992 NFC title game at San Fran … Oh, you know why this past weekend the four winners were playing at home and had first-round byes? Their regular-season records indicate they were the best teams of 2018.

So for the 2018 season, that’s all folks. Tis over around here.

Why it's a busy offseason ahead for the Cowboys-Nick Eatman, Kurt Daniels, Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have a lot of decisions ahead on the coaching staff but also with their players, many of who they need to re-sign.

Garrett made it clear that there haven’t been many discussions about the roster, especially in the upcoming free agents such as DeMarcus Lawrence, who played this season on the franchise tag.

“But he’s certainly as big a priority as there is,” Garrett said. “He’s been such a great player for us and continues to get better and better. Talk about a guy who takes the right approach to the game and wants to be a great player and wants his unit and our team to be great. He had a fantastic year last year. Again, he was put in that situation with the franchise tag, but he embraced every moment of it. He was involved in everything we did. He’s really embraced the role of being a leader on this football team, beyond just his production.

Cowboys have major decisions needing attention in free agency- Clarence Hill- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Dallas Cowboys have $48 million in salary cap space for 2019. They'll spend most of it signing and extending their own players.

“What would you do? Number one. And when you say goals, our goals are to put the best team that we possibly can,” Jerry Jones said. “I’m not being trite, but some of these questions about whether you’re extending or not. Are you asking me do we want Zeke in the foreseeable future on the Dallas Cowboys? The answer’s yes. That would be madness to think any differently. You asked a question about Dak and the answer’s yes. I want him in the short-term and the long-term.

“Do you want [defensive end DeMarcus] Lawrence for the foreseeable future? [Cornerback] Byron Jones? Most everything you hear speculation on is fluid. And that’s the real question. Tell us how you’re going to do it. And I can’t. I won’t. Because sometimes, I don’t know how to do it. You have a plan, but you don’t know how to do it until you’re sitting there, reaching that hand out and shaking it.”

NFL free agents for Cowboys: Should team pursue safety Earl Thomas in 2019? Tyler Dragon- SportsDay
They couldn't land him on the first try but now he's a free agent, should Dallas prioritize the All-Pro safety or has that ship sailed?

Thomas suffered a broken left leg in September, ending his season. The positive news is the free safety is expected to make a full recovery this offseason. Teams will be wary of Thomas coming off a serious injury, but when healthy, he’s arguably the best safety in the game.

Thomas flirted with the Cowboys before, and the Texas product hasn’t been shy about his interest. After failing to complete a trade for Thomas last year, will the Cowboys sign him outright now that he’s available? He would be a major boon for the team’s defense.