The Cowboys have three seasons in franchise history

  • For the first five weeks of this season Taco Charlton Jersey , Scott Linehan was scapegoated by some for the offensive malaise the Dallas Cowboys were suffering. His play-calling was seen as unimaginative by some of the fanbase who claimed he was simply unable to get the team on track. But things looked radically different in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Any time an NFL team puts up 40 points on anyone it is significant, and when the defense in question is as highly ranked as the Jaguars were coming into that game, it is even more significant. We now have to see if things continue against Washington.All this year, there has been a serious question of just what the problem was on offense. Actually, it seemed to be a combination of things. Dak Prescott was not throwing the ball well, the receivers weren’t giving him as much help as it seemed they should, and the offensive line was still struggling a bit with trying to meld Connor Williams and Joe Looney into the mix, while Tyron Smith and La’el Collins were having their own struggles at tackle. That in turn made the running game not as effective at times as needed. All that led to the larger question of whether it was Linehan’s game plan and play selection, or the failure to execute by the players. Last Sunday seemed to tilt things toward the latter. So there is certainly an argument to be made for the condemnation of Linehan to have been a bit premature. Even though I kept asking about just where the problem really was, including the Brews and the Boys podcast following the disappointing loss to the Houston Texans, I was also starting to lose faith in Linehan. But now, I am back to believing that he is capable of finding a way to win with Prescott’s strengths and weaknesses, combined with the players around him. He certainly had all the answers the team needed last game. We still need to see that elusive consistency and a lot more competence on the road, but hammering Linehan just ignores the latest evidence we have. But that is my opinion. I threw the question out to my fellow writers here at BTB, and here are the responses I got.DannyPhantom: My opinion hasn’t changed about Linehan. I believed he was a good play caller and I still believe that. I’ve seen too many good things from him to suddenly start thinking the game has passed him up. The Cowboys have three seasons in franchise history with 13 wins and he’s a part of that. And that doesn’t even include his first year as the OC in 2014 where the Cowboys put up the second most points in franchise history (467). When I watch the film closely, I see a lot of clever things going on. There are many times where the defense goes the wrong way and that’s attributed to how Linehan uses the threat of Ezekiel Elliott in his game plan. From motioning to bootlegs, from fake pitches to reverses - he’s got them all turned around. These things have led to very successful plays for the Cowboys offense when the plays are executed correctly. And that’s what it really comes down to - execution . . . not the lack of creativity from Linehan. When it works, people love him, when it doesn’t - people want him fired. That doesn’t seem like a Linehan problem to me. Don’t get me wrong, there are always things that can improve and the coaching staff will be the first to tell you that, but when you see them calm and collective with no panic in their face, don’t interpret that as them being clueless and reluctant to change. Instead, recognize that as a measure of the belief they have in themselves and what this offense can do. The Cowboys always seem to have some position group that requires more time before it gets rolling. Last year Womens Demarcus Lawrence Jersey , it was their secondary with all the new guys. This season, it’s both the wide receivers and tight ends. There is going to be a learning curve with these new changes and that’s a lot to put on the offense. So while it will be tough at times, it still feels good to see what this group is capable of doing. With Linehan, it’s there and it’s always been there.Dave Halprin: I’ve been pretty vocal in my beliefs that the Cowboys poor offensive showing has been roughly 75% on the players not executing and 25% on Jason Garrett/Scott Linehan. I would like to see the Cowboys use more rub routes at the point of release, and crossing routes that end up as natural pick plays, but that just doesn’t seem to be in Linehan’s plans. Using Prescott’s legs more would also be a good thing, some more read-options or draws. But as I’ve watched the film week after week, it’s pretty obvious plays are there to be had, the Cowboys players are just failing to execute. The majority of that falls on the shoulders of Dak Prescott. It almost always falls on the QB. He has to be more accurate which means better mechanics which means not being so jumpy and anxious in the pocket. He also needs to get past his tendency to lock on one side of the field, something he was better at in the Jaguars game when he scanned the field much better. The offensive line also needs to tighten up, something they seem to be doing as it looks like they are playing a little better as the season rolls on. Linehan can be better, but he’s certainly not the overriding problem. It’s on the players, and much of that is on Prescott. When he plays better, the offense can flow, and they can put up a 40-burger on a tough defense.One Cool Customer: I think people get caught up in semantics too much, and confuse creativity with effectiveness. As my fellow writers point out, Linehan’s offense was perfectly fine in 2016, and nobody at that time was complaining about a lack of creativity. But now that the offense is struggling to be effective, suddenly the narrative is all about the lack of creativity.Then again, when the offense got going against the Jaguars, it didn’t take long for Tony Romo to marvel at the creativity of Linehan’s offense, when in fact the offense hadn’t changed, it was just working more effectively.The Cowboys’ option offense doesn’t have a lot of complex schemes. But when those schemes are executed properly Leighton Vander Esch Jersey White , the offense can be highly effective. It doesn’t often look like many of the Arena Football-type offenses currently en vogue, but executed properly, this offense can be nearly unstoppable.It’s on Linehan to ensure that his offense works effectively and the players execute properly, so we can’t simply say it’s all on the players, but there’s no reason to doubt that Linehan’s scheme can work. And as far as predictability and lack of creativeness goes, the Cowboys in the 90s were one of the most predictable and least creative offenses. Didn’t stop them from winning.Michael Sisemore: I’m not going to ding Scott Linehan for creativity but the troubling thing about he and Jason Garrett to an extent is the stubbornness. I’m not sure that these guys always have a grasp on their personnel and it’s not all just poor execution from the players themselves. With these receivers especially, the coaches have often called plays that rely on these receivers to win their matchups and that’s not conducive to the talent on the roster. At best, none of these receivers are more than complementary players. They may have fixed a few things with the Jaguars by using Cole Beasley all over the field but it’s also a product of how preoccupied the Jaguars were with stopping the running game.So there you have our takes. Let us know what you think in the comments - politely, of course. Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey already has pulled off one blockbuster trade. He seems eager to make another.Dorsey said he's had "a few conversations" lately with Washington Redskins President Bruce Allen and hinted one of the topics discussed has been a trade for star left tackle Trent Williams.Dorsey, who maintains the Browns can still accomplish all their goals despite a 2-4 start, was asked if Allen might trade his left tackle, meaning Williams. "It takes two to tango," Dorsey said Wednesday as he left the podium.Dorsey's comment could be seen as a way of putting pressure on Allen to deal Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowler who isn't playing while embroiled in a messy contract dispute with the Redskins. Williams also differed with the team's medical staff on its handling of a growth on his head.Last week, Allen insisted he has no plans of moving the disgruntled 31-year-old Williams."No," he said. "Not at this time."But that's not likely to dissuade Dorsey, who heard similar things from the New York Giants about star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. before putting together the right package to bring the gifted playmaker to Cleveland in March.With the Oct. 29 trade deadline nearing, talks between the Browns and Redskins could intensify. Or fizzle.Either way, Dorsey plans to spend the remainder of Cleveland's bye week looking for ways to improve a team that entered the season with playoff hopes but has underperformed."We will do what is best for the Cleveland Browns organization," he said. "We will do extensive research. We will make a million phone calls. If we think we can improve a position, regardless of what that position is, we will go about it if we think it is the right fit for the Cleveland Browns. ... Whatever happens, happens. If nothing happens Dak Prescott Jersey White , you move on and go to the next project."The Browns (2-4) are using their time off to assess all areas of their team, including an offensive line Dorsey feels needs to be "more consistent." He used the same words to describe the play of starting tackles Greg Robinson and Chris Hubbard.Dorsey has overhauled Cleveland's roster since he was hired as GM late in the team's winless 2017 season. He has made numerous trades, drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall and plugged holes in the secondary and across both lines.However, he hasn't found a long-term solution at left tackle since 10-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas retired after the 2017 season and careers were cut short by injury.Williams could fill that critical spot for a few years, protecting Mayfield's blindside and opening holes for running back Nick Chubb.Williams is due nearly $25 million over the next two seasons, the final years on a five-year, $66 million extension he signed in 2015.The Redskins would likely want a first-round pick — and more — for Williams, and Dorsey said the Browns, who have roughly $33 million in salary-cap space, are positioned to add another high-priced player if necessary."We still have flexibility to do a lot of different things," he said.Cleveland's offensive line has had some uneven performances, but the unit is coming off a solid game against Seattle. Mayfield wasn't sacked, and Chubb rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns.There could be other changes up front during the bye as Wyatt Teller, acquired in August from Buffalo, could move into Eric Kush's spot at right guard.Center JC Tretter said the bye week gives everyone a chance to reflect and make adjustments."We've done some really good things on the offensive line, but there is clearly room to improve and clearly room to get better both as a collective unit and as individuals," he said. "I think all positions have taken that to heart, understanding that we need to come back raring to go, ready to go and with the mindset of what we need to accomplish in the final weeks of the season."NOTES: QB Baker Mayfield didn't practice as he continues to recover from a hip injury suffered on a hit in Sunday's game. He's expected to be ready to face New England on Oct. 27. ... Dorsey stressed that he's pleased with the job first-year coach Freddie Kitchens has done and that he's not panicked by the team's slow start. "Nobody in this organization is happy about 2-4," he said. "That's real. We have 10 games left in the season. ... The positive here is that we have five home games. We have five divisional games. There's a lot of football to be played here. I know from personal experiences that I've been on teams that have had worse starts than this and guess what? They played really good at the back end of the season."