Jason Garrett backtracks on Scott Linehan, says no decisions made on staff


Five hours after saying the Cowboys “don’t anticipate any significant changes on our staff,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett backtracked. He said in his season-ending press conference Monday that he and the Cowboys front office have not met to discuss offensive coordinator Scott Linehan or any of the team’s other assistant coaches.

“We haven’t had any substantive conversations,” Garrett said. “Scott did an excellent job for us this year. Again, I don’t know how I answered that question this morning. Nothing has changed. Again, I was in and around player meetings. I feel very good about what Scott Linehan did for us. Feel very good what Rod Marinelli, Kris Richard have done, Keith O’Quinn and everybody on our staff. We’ll have conversations about everybody as we go over here the next few days, and we’ll make a lot of decisions to put the staff together, put our team together as we go.”

The Cowboys overturned their coaching staff after last season but kept coordinators Linehan and Marinelli. It was anticipated that the Cowboys would move on from Linehan this offseason after finishing 29th in red zone scoring, converting only 48 percent of their red zone possessions into touchdowns and 80 percent into points.

Garrett’s latest comments about Linehan’s future follow what executive vice president Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan after Garrett’s radio appearance. Jones said it was “a little early” to be talking about staff and player changes.

“It’s still pretty immediate right now,” Garrett said in his press conference. “Obviously, we played the game on Saturday night. The order of business over the last two days, I’ve been in player interviews. We’ve probably interviewed 65 or so of our players, and that’s really been our focus. We’re going to have our first real staff meeting here when I get done with the press conference, and we’ll talk about all of that staff stuff. So we haven’t had any substantive conversations in regards to our staff at all. There are some guys who are out of contracts, and we’ll have to address those situations. One of the things that we always talk about is the makeup of the staff. A lot of the decisions impact the other decisions that you make. So we haven’t had any conversations about any of that stuff up this point. I feel really good about the job our staff did this year.”

Garrett was asked if he had final say on coaching changes. (Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, of course, famously hired Garrett for an unknown position in 2007 before the Cowboys hired Wade Phillips as head coach.)

“Like with everything, they’re all collaborative decisions,” Garrett said. “I do not own the team. Jerry Jones owns the team, so ultimately he has final say over everything we do here. But I do believe our relationship is very collaborative. I have a tremendous amount of faith and trust in him. I think hopefully he has the same for me. We talk about all the decisions we make — any player, any coach — and we come to conclusions that we both feel good about. And we’ll certainly do that with every decision we make this offseason like we’ve done over the last number of years.”

If the Cowboys do make a change at offensive coordinator, tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier could earn a promotion if they stay in house.

19 responses to “Jason Garrett backtracks on Scott Linehan, says no decisions made on staff

  1. Garrett spoke before Jerry made his decision on Linehan. Odd that Garrett doesn’t know his place after all this time. The puppet forgot the strings.

  2. A collective effort to remain mediocre. That’s the ticket. Whatever JJ says and wants. I’m just the yes man.

  3. In other words, Jerry Jones just told him to tap the brakes. Jones will tell Garrett who will be back. Hopefully, it won’t be Linehan who runs an offense that many have described as predictable, in-the-box, and easy to defend.

  4. Jerry Jones aside, this is the GM’s, VP, or even Owner’s call with any team. Certainly the HC’s opinion would be valued, but it’s not his call.

  5. Jerry Jones aside, this is the GM’s, VP, or even Owner’s call with any team. Certainly the HC’s opinion would be valued, but it’s not his call
    better make that 31 out of 32 teams. kraft decides how long belichick stays (essentially how long he wants to own the dominant franchise); big bill decides everything else.

  6. I believe Jason Garrett is a good coach. I believe that
    continuity has get value in NFL football.
    I have a few concerns about Garrett. The first concern
    is in game adjustments. When we reached halftime
    of the Rams game, I told my wife that the Cowboys will
    come out firing the ball by spreading out, especially
    on third downs. I also expected Prescott to be more
    involved in running the ball.
    Despite my optimism, the coaching staff seemed to
    believe no changes were needed. On offense the
    Cowboys continued to attempt the grind offense,
    where they needed 10-12 plays to score. No Prescott
    running and no real changes.
    On defense it appeared to be the same. No real change
    on the d-lime which was being raked.
    They did put Sean Lee in and he was actually better than
    Smith and Vander Esch ( both struggled but have a great
    future…they just experienced what Lee and Hitchins etc
    experienced from playing many years with a subpar defensive line,
    before this game…this was the best D-Line in years )
    I thought the Dallas coaching staff did a poor job of adjusting
    on both sides of the ball.
    Linahan needs to go, he is way too predictable and has
    no ability to adjust in game.
    On defense something needs to change. Marinelli runs the
    famous Tampa 2 defense which Tony Dungy ran in Tampa.
    Dingy based it upon the Steelers 1970’s Defenses and the
    Tampa Bay Bucs ran it. The problem with Marinelli’s defense
    is the absence of a dominating tackle like Joe Greene and
    Warren Sapp. The Cover 2 is a great defense to run if you have an
    Aaron Donald or a Suh. When you can rush 4 and get to the Qb
    you will win. The Cowboys don’t have those players.
    Finally I have always respected Marinelli but I cannot understand
    how the Cowboy coaching staff did not recognize that their own
    D-lineman were tipping off the opponent Ram o-Line as to what
    game they were running.
    First a coaching staff should always be aware of teams stealing signs
    and also be able to discern that the opposing team is stealing signs
    or have recognized a “tell”.
    Teams scout themselves, obviously the Cowboys own internal
    Scouts failed.
    The bottom line is that the Cowboys staff always seems to come up
    a bit short. Little adjustment, little defensive change,little discipline
    and no offensive ability to adjust. Just look at the second half of the
    Rams game..no change on offense. The Ram coaching staff
    dominated the Cowboys coaching staff.

  7. A lot of fans of other NFC teams voicing opinions on Cowboys stories. Funny thing is the Cowboys made it further than all but 2 Nfc teams. So for all the talk I didn’t see your teams in the playoffs.

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