IRVING, Texas – After a month of speculation, it appears some type of major change may be coming to the Cowboys' coaching staff.
One week after affirming the job security of offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, the Cowboys look set to add former Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to their coaching staff. Linehan was at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch facility on Monday morning and took part in staff meetings.
It's been suggested that Linehan may serve as a passing game coordinator for Tony Romo and a Dallas passing offense that finished No. 14 in the NFL last year. What Callahan's role in the new hierarchy will be, or if he will even stay with the team, remains to be seen.
If hired, this will be the second time Garrett and Linehan have worked together. Linehan was the offensive coordinator for the Dolphins in 2005, when Garrett was hired as the team's quarterback coach. Current receivers coach Derek Dooley was also on that staff as the tight ends coach, all under then-head coach Nick Saban. Linehan was hired as the head coach of the Rams after that season and went 11-25 in three years with St. Louis.
He joined the Lions in 2009 as the offensive coordinator. Linehan's offense in Detroit finished No. 6 in the league overall and No. 3 in passing in 2013, before coach Jim Schwartz's staff was released following a 7-9 finish. Linehan looks likely to take over as playcaller for Callahan, who assumed that duty last season.
The development falls more or less in line with what Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett hinted at from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., last week.
Jones confirmed then that both Callahan and Monte Kiffin, widely speculated to be fired after a disappointing season, would stay on staff in 2014. What the two coaches' roles would be going forward wasn't so clearly defined, though. [embedded_ad]
"Those guys are under contract, and we feel good about that," Garrett said last week. "We're always going to try to do things that are in the best interest of our football team, so we'll keep looking at how we can be better as a staff and what roles everybody is in and what we're asking them to do."
If Linehan does in fact take over playcalling duties, it would be the Cowboys' third playcaller in as many seasons. Garrett managed that responsibility from his initial hiring as offensive coordinator in 2007 up until last season, when he ceded the job to Callahan.
Halfway through the 2013 season, Garrett changed the organization of his staff to give himself a role in the process. Rather than Callahan calling plays to quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, who then relayed the call to Romo, Garrett moved Wilson into the coaches booth and relayed the calls himself.
Despite that change, Garrett maintained that Callahan held playcalling responsibilities for the duration of the 2013 season.
Linehan served as offensive coordinator for Detroit from 2009 until this past season. The Lions finished 26th in overall offense in 2009, Matthew Stafford's rookie season, and subsequently improved to 17th in 2010, fifth in 2011 and third in 2012.