In 2014 Scott Linehan came to the Dallas Cowboys with an extensive knowledge of the NFL’s offensives and defenses. Linehan coaching ability is a valued commodity for the Cowboys.
Scott’s experience with the offense came in 1982 with the Idaho Vandals. Linehan was a college quarterback for the Vandals from 1982-1985. Scott was not drafted by the NFL. However, he did sign a rookie free agent contract with the Cowboys in 1987. Injuries mounted for Linehan and a shoulder injury, shortly after signing with Dallas, ended his professional football playing career.
Linehan moved onto coaching . For Scott’s first assignment he was a volunteer at Sunset High School in Portland. In 1989, Scott took his first coaching job, back at the college he played for, under first year head coach John L. Smith. Linehan was the wide receivers coach for the Idaho Vandals. Linehan left the team to coach a year at UNLV before coming back to coach two more seasons at Idaho. He followed that up with five years at Washington and three years at Louisville.
Scott’s pro coaching career started in 2002 as the offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach for the Minnesota Vikings. He held the same position with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 before crossing the goal line in 2006 to become the head coach of the St. Louis Rams. Unfortunately, the Rams were in transition when Linehan landed there, and it was not a conducive situation for winning football.
Linehan took the offensive coordinator job in Detroit under Jim Schwartz in 2009. He was subsequently released from the Lions when Schwartz was fired in December of 2013. That opened the door for negotiations with the Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett. Linehan came here from Detroit, leaving behind the likes of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to join the most complete group of talent he has had the privilege to mentor.
Scott’s first season with the Cowboys in 2014 was a major success as he took the Cowboys from and 8-8 team to an amazing 12-4 record. Linehan’s legacy was growing around the league.
Trouble followed in 2015. In game one, Dez Bryant was lost with a broken foot. In the second game of the year, Tony Romo went down with a broken clavicle. This is where the weakness of the Dallas Cowboys’ offense was exposed for 12 games. The Dallas Cowboys, Stephen Jones, Scott Linehan and Wade Wilson, failed to secure a viable back-up for their franchise quarterback, costing the team any chance for the playoffs.
In 2014, I said this was the most talented team Linehan has had the pleasure of coaching. Last season, 2015, a destructive clash of injuries throughout the starting offensive unit was their pitfall.
For the start of the 2015 Dallas Cowboys training camp, Linehan once again has the pleasure of coaching one of the most talented groups in the entire NFL. With the first round addition of Ezekiel Elliott to bolster the running game, the return of a healthy Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, Scott’s legacy as a football guru can only be tainted by a rash of future, unfortunate injuries.