Coach Jason Garrett said he has no plans of taking play-calling duties away from offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, at least not right now.
But the message has been received loud and clear by the architect of the league’s 27th ranked offense that includes the fourth-worst passing game.
No one is happy with the team’s 3-5 mark heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
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But most disappointing is the abject and seemingly declining performance on offense. The Cowboys already can’t pass with any efficiency. Now the running game is struggling. They rank among worst teams in the league converting third downs (33 percent), as well as scoring.
The Cowboys are averaging just 19.3 points per game, a number that is buoyed by the anomaly of the 40-7 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Five times they have failed to score at least 20 points and they are averaging just 9.6 points in the second half.
Jones is adamant that inward changes at every level franchise need to be made for the team to play better if they have any hopes of getting back into contention in the NFC East.
Linehan says the offensive struggles start with him and his play calling.
“Everything we are about is ownership and accountability this week,” Linehan said. “I fully own we haven’t been good enough offensively. It starts with me. Jerry’s message very appropriate. Everybody has to look inward not outward. We have to be better at our job. If that is our approach as individuals we will be better as a team.”
Linehan believes the key to unleashing the offense is using the pass to set up the run rather than vice versa which had been their mantra.
Despite two straight losses to the Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans, three of quarterback Dak Prescott four best passing performances have come in the last three games, dating back to the victory against the Jaguars.
He has five touchdowns and just one interception during that span, though three fumbles, including two on sacks that proved to be the team’s undoing in the losses.
Linehan believes the passing game is something they can build on as they continue to incorporate receiver Amari Cooper who was acquired in a bye-week trade with the Oakland Raiders.
“I think we are in a reset mode as far as our run game,” Linehan said. “We want to get our passing game, which I think has trended good the last couple of games, in a position where we can create big plays and have the run game as something we can lean on through the game, especially in the second half.”