We all saw it time and time again last season. Dak played mediocre for three quarters but as the game was winding down suddenly flipped a switch and was on fire. While frustrating, it made for plenty of exciting football as a cowboys fan.
But why was this so often the case? Is Dak simply a bad quarterback with a crazy good clutch gene? Or was it something else?
After countless hours thinking about it and watching film from the season I have a theory that I believe explains this odd anomaly: Linehan.
Now I know it is nothing unique among cowboys fans to hate on and criticize Linehan. I did that for a while too. But something always bothered me. Linehan was successful in 2016 as the play caller so why did he suddenly start being awful? I propose it was because in 2016 he trusted Dak, whereas by 2018 he had lost that trust. Due to this, he started to call games around Prescott rather than through him.
This explains why routes the receivers were running always seemed to be conservative and predictable, as Linehan would have been afraid to take risks with a quarterback he did not trust. It explains why it always seemed as if Dallas was happy settling for field goals in the redzone, as he would have been afraid to give the reigns to Dak when points were in reach. And lastly, and most convincingly in my mind, this would explain why when the game was on the line, Dak thrived. Think about it. Time is running out and it is now or never, in these situations Linehan would have no choice but to put the game in Dak's hands and start calling to win rather than calling to not mess up. And when given free reign, Dak took advantage of it over and over again, only to be reigned back in at the start of next week.
If this theory is true (and I believe it is which is why I wrote my first ever post about it) than it could mean good things in store for 2019 assuming Moore trusts his QB.
If not, well, get ready for a lot more wild fourth quarters.