Dallas Cowboys: Scott Linehan out of Cowboys offensive coordinator in what Jason Garrett says was 'a mutual decision'



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* Editor's note: This story has been updated.

So much for no major changes.

Just days after head coach Jason Garrett didn't anticipate any significant changes to the Dallas Cowboys' coaching staff – a topic he later spoke more vaguely about – the club released a statement from Garrett on Friday announcing it was parting ways with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

"This was not easy. Scott Linehan as a football coach and a person," Garrett said in the statement. "He and I had some really positive, substantive and open-minded place in the latter store, part of this week, and we ultimately agreed that it would be best if we were to make a change at this (offensive coordinator) position.

"I have been very positive." Has it been a great deal of common ground between both of us during our meetings. instrumental in the development and success of a significant number of veterans and younger players, a great friend and we wish him and his family nothing but the absolute best moving forward. "

The end of Linehan's five-year tenure comes after two frustrating seasons offensively for Dallas. While high-powered off center stage at the top of the league, the Cowboys finished the 2018 season ranked just No. 22 in points and total yards per game.

Linehan was oft-criticized for an talent-playing, including predictable play-calling and sporadic use of quarterback Dak Prescott's ability to run. The unit got off to a slow start, though it showed improvement after Dallas gave a first-round draft pick in October to secure receiver Amari Cooper in a trade with Oakland.

Prescott and the passing game took a step back after a blockbuster 2016. The passing game fell apart while running back Ezekiel Elliott served a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy and never recovered.

Last offseason, Linehan was given latitude to make the staff very overhauled, including quarterback making former quarterbacks coach and coach Sanjay Lal, and tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier and off line line coach Paul Alexander, who was fired in the middle of the season.

Because Garrett's background is on the offensive side of the ball as a former quarterback and play-caller, it remains to be seen how willing it will be to be broader in terms of change and new philosophies. Garrett currently has one year remaining on his contract.

Linehan, entering the final year of its deal at the time, signed what is believed to be a two-year extension in 2017 that placed him among the highest paid coordinators in the league.

Linehan, the former head coach of the St. Louis Rams, was audited for his work with Prescott in 2016, when Dallas went 13-3 and the rookie quarterback stepped in for injured veteran Tony Romo.

Linehan arrived in Dallas in 2014 as the club's passing coordinator, then was coordinated for the following season.

By the numbers

A look at the Cowboys offense's per game averages under Scott Linehan, with league rank in parenthesis:

Year

Points

Total yards

Pass yards

Rush yards

2014 *

29.2 (5)

383.6 (7)

236.5 (16)

147.1 (2)

2015

17.2 (31)

335.1 (22)

216.9 (27)

118.1 (9)

2016

26.3 (5)

376.7 (5)

226.9 (23)

149.8 (2)

2017

22.1 (14)

331.9 (14)

196.3 (26)

135.6 (2)

2018

21.2 (22)

343.8 (22)

221.1 (23)

122.7 (10)

* -Linehan was the passing game coordinator before becoming offensive coordinator in 2015.

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