Amari Cooper told Dak to change the play, Dak changed it, the Dallas Cowboys scored, and the legacy of Scott Linehan took another hit.
If you weren’t paying attention after the Dallas Cowboys game, then maybe you aren’t aware that on the Amari Cooper catch and run for a touchdown, Cooper asked Dak to change the play, it worked. The call was for four hooks. Cooper had said that the Eagles were sitting on the routes and that it was basically a bad call. Dak said, “just run it bro”, then looked at the coverage, signaled to Cooper to run the deep go route, and just like that the Cowboys scored.
What seems to be lost among the winning streak, is that the offense is still, for large chunks, stagnant. The winning has hidden the fact that Scott Linehan and the playcalling are still a problem. For all the good Ezekiel Elliot, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and others have been doing on offense, it seems to be in spite of Scott Linehan, not because of him.
For the past few seasons there have been rumblings that Linehan’s offense is too predictable. Former players, analysts, opposing defenses, heck, just about everyone has said it at one point or another. Earlier in the season, it looked as though Scott Linehan might not make it to the end of the year. Then came the winning streak, but not a lot has really changed.
What has changed is Amari Cooper, the offensive line coach, and a defense which has taken the next step to elite. Yet, there still isn’t enough RPO, too much passing in the red zone, and a conservative playcalling for much of games. Dallas ranks 17th for 1st quarter points, 29th for 2nd quarter points, 27th for 3rd quarter points, but 8th in 4th quarter points. So for large chunks in the middle of games, the Cowboys are not scoring.
This can be attributed to the playcalling and not adjusting to how a defense is playing the Cowboys. It has taken some late game heroics and a stingy defense to overcome what has been a mostly flat middle of the game. Amari changing the play should be Linehan’s doing, not Amari. To be fair to Dak, I am not sure how much freedom they have given him to change the play. To put it on him, to change it, is not fair to him at this point in his career.
More from Dallas Cowboys
- Dallas Cowboys Linebackers: 2023 Position Overview
- Ballhawk University: Why the Cowboys will be takeaway leaders
- Dallas Cowboys Player to Watch: Sleeper TE John Stephens, Jr.
- Dallas Cowboys: The impact of Micah Parsons and a well-rounded secondary
- Dallas Cowboys still unsure about their left guard position for 2023
Either way, Scott Linehan has to be replaced. Whether or not you want Dak to get an extension, the right thing to do would be to replace the offensive coordinator to someone more progressive, then make your decision.
Dak’s skillset is not built for an offensive coordinator like Linehan. To be honest, I am not sure anyone in 2018 is built to run his offense.
So what we need is more Amari and less Scott. It is great the Cowboys have had this winning streak and right now they are in control of their playoff destiny. However, the Cowboys have to progress a little more offensively to make some serious noise in the playoffs.
Maybe Amari, Dak, Zeke, et al. can continue to make plays and change plays. Either way, the defense is elite, the offense is doing enough to win, and the Dallas Cowboys might be the best team in the NFC right now. All of this in spite of Scott Linehan, not because of him.
- Published on 12/11/2018 at 18:01 PM
- Last updated at 12/11/2018 at 09:50 AM