Dallas Cowboys

Linehan, Cassel see quarterback’s freedom in different ways

Star-Telegram

Cut it loose.

That’s how Dallas Cowboys quarterback Matt Cassel can help himself, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said Wednesday.

In Linehan’s mind, Cassel has to trust himself and his instincts more than he has shown in his starts. After all, the Cowboys are only 1-5 in the six games started by Cassel, who has a six-to-five interceptions-to-touchdowns ratio and has posted a 73.5 passer rating.

“Just go out there and cut it loose,” Linehan said. “I think there’s some freedom in the fact that if you just … you’re here for a reason and he is. Just trust your abilities and your instincts and sometimes that frees a player up.”

That advice, though, didn’t seem to go over too well with Cassel. In fact, Cassel feels like he’s done just that and operated as best as he can in the offense.

“I feel like I have played within the offense,” Cassel said. “At the same time, if there are opportunities that are there I have taken my shots when I’m supposed to take the shots.

“Like I said, if something needs to be communicated or something is ever said to me, I always try to do what’s best for the team and I also do what I’m being coached.”

Neither party has gotten it right.

The game plan hasn’t been designed well enough, and Cassel’s numbers leave much to be desired.

But the Cowboys aren’t ready to give backup Kellen Moore a look yet. They still feel Cassel gives them the best chance to win, and likely don’t want to have Moore making his NFL debut against the fifth-best defense in the league.

“Everyone has to rally around Matt and know if I do my job better and each individual coach and player does their job better, Matt is going to perform better,” Linehan said. “We need to step up at every position coach and player and help the quarterback position out.”

Beat writers Clarence Hill and Drew Davison give their weekly report on the Cowboys, who face the Jets on Saturday.

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