Dallas Cowboys

Scott Linehan could be a hot head coaching prospect next week

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has the NFL’s fourth-ranked unit despite having a rookie quarterback in Dak Prescott (4).
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has the NFL’s fourth-ranked unit despite having a rookie quarterback in Dak Prescott (4). pmoseley@star-telegram.com

Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan could interview for coaching vacancies next week. NFL rules allow teams seeking a head coach to interview assistant coaches on teams with a playoff bye next week.

Linehan’s interviews, though, are required to take place in DFW.

The Jaguars, Rams and Bills already have fired their coaches, and several other teams are expected to follow suit Monday. Patriots assistants Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia also could interview for jobs next week. Tom Coughlin, out of work this season, already has started the interview process.

“If that’s true,” Linehan said of the possibility of being a hot commodity, “I don’t know if that’s true, but if that’s true, it’s all related to the fact that we’re having success this year. It’s because of  how our kids have played as a football team and what happens to people if they get probably more credit than they deserve when that happens and when you’re not doing well you probably get more blame. That’s just the way the world works. That just means we’re having success as a football team and that’s a good thing. I’m really proud of the way the kids have been playing.”

Linehan, 53, lasted only two seasons and four games as the head coach of the St. Louis Rams. He was 11-25 when the Rams fired him.

Since then, as a coordinator in Detroit and Dallas, Linehan has produced top-10 offenses in four of seven seasons. The only seasons he didn’t have a top-10 offense, Linehan was without his starting quarterback a significant part of the season.

“Coach Linehan – that’s pretty cool, but he can’t go nowhere,” Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said. “Not right now. We got this thing rolling. That’s everything. But you know, not to be selfish – that’s a great accomplishment for him. He deserves it, but he’s a Cowboy.”

The Cowboys rank fourth in total offense this season, including second in rushing, despite starting rookies at running back and quarterback. They are tied with the Patriots for the best record in the league and can get a single-season, franchise-best 14th victory Sunday.

“Scott’s done a really good job this season,” tight end Jason Witten said. “To be able to incorporate all the different things that he’s done within our offense, I think it says a lot about who he is – the formations that we do, the way we run the ball, just throw a lot of different things at the defense all while attacking the way we do it so never losing our identity. There are a lot of different weapons. He does a good job of getting different guys involved and offensively just kind of setting the tone week in and week out. Expectations were high for us going into it, and there’s a lot of just assuming that success is going to happen. He was quick to kind of tell us, here’s how we have to do it. You’ve got to reassess things week in and week out and keep that standard high. I think he’s done a really good job, more than deserving of that opportunity. I know he’s one of the sharpest offensive minds out there.”