The Dallas Cowboys have fired offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.
A statement from head coach Jason Garrett announced the move:
“This was not an easy decision because of how highly we regard Scott Linehan as a football coach and as a person,” the statement said. “He and I had some really positive, substantive and open discussions which took place in the latter part of this week, and we ultimately agreed that it would be in the best interest of all parties involved if we were to make a change at this (offensive coordinator) position.
“This was very much a mutual decision, and there was a great deal of common ground and shared understanding between both of us during our meetings. Scott has had an incredibly positive impact on our football team. He has been instrumental in the development and success of a significant number of our veteran and younger players. He is an outstanding football coach, a great friend and we wish him and his family nothing but the absolute best going forward.”
Linehan also had a statement, which was on the team’s official site:
“As (head coach) Jason (Garrett) expressed, we met on Wednesday and had a good, direct talk,” Linehan said. “At the end, we resolved that a fresh start was probably best for both of us.
“The Dallas Cowboys have been nothing but great to me, first class all the way. There’s a reason that they are the most valuable sports franchise on the planet. And I’ll always respect Jason as a coach and I consider him a good friend. I’ll miss my fellow coaches and my players a great deal. But life is about change and growth, and I very much look forward to my next challenge.”
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweeted that this move seemed imminent, as Dallas has been meeting with outside coordinator candidates in recent days. (This sort of throws water on the “mutual decision” thing, but that’s just us.)
The 55-year-old Linehan joined the Cowboys in 2014 as passing game coordinator, but was promoted to coordinator in 2015.
Dallas finished 22nd in the NFL this season in total yards of offense (343.8 yards per game), and 22nd in points per game (20.1). They were 10th in third downs, but 29th in red zone efficiency — they got inside the 20-yard line 50 times during the regular season, with 24 touchdowns, a sharp decline from last year, when the Cowboys were sixth in red zone offense (31 TDs in 52 opportunities).