The Dallas Cowboys miraculous 2016 season pretty much caught just about everyone off guard in regards to the surprise turnaround they have made after finishing 4-12 last season. Nobody could have possibly predicted that they would end up with less losses (3) than they had wins (4) in one years time span.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on what side of the spectrum you're on, that turnaround has not only probably cost the Cowboys Tony Romo's services next season, but it could also cost them their offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan.
You see, Scott Linehan's name may be a short list for a lot of these teams that are looking for a new head coach.
It shouldn't come too much of a surprise when you think about it. Linehan's offense has been one of the best in the NFL since joining the Dallas Cowboys and his work this year with rookie QB Dak Prescott has simply been outstanding.
Linehan has a track record of helping young quarterbacks reach their potential, having previously helped Matthew Stafford when he entered the league with the Detroit Lions. This is why I believe he could possibly be a highly sought after head coaching candidate.
Instead of evaluating the head-coaching positions for just Scott Linehan, I decided to take a look to see which team would be the best for Linehan and Tony Romo to continue to work together because I think they could end up being a packaged deal, at least I hope so.
The NFL coaching vacancies are a gambit of desirability. There is everything from Super Bowl contenders to the bottom feeders. Below I have ranked them from what I believe is the worst to best situation.
San Francisco 49ers
There is absolutely nothing to like about the situation that the San Francisco 49ers have themselves in. They do have the #2 overall pick in this year's draft, but the amount of dysfunction in the organization makes this job less than desirable.
The 49ers last two head coaches didn't last more than a season and they are also looking for a new general manager. There is absolutely zero stability from top to bottom, which doesn't bode well for Scott Linehan and Tony Romo continuing their careers together in the Bay Area.
Overall, I think the chances of Linehan and Romo continuing their working relationship with the 49ers is extremely thin at best. The 49ers need a miracle worker!
San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers are kind of like the Philadelphia Eagles this year in their own respective divisions. Both teams will be watching from home while nearly every other team in their division play in the playoffs.
The uncertainty surrounding the Chargers makes them just a little bit more desirable than the San Francisco 49ers, but not by much.
The Chargers team is full of aging players and the uncertainty surrounding where they will play in the future might mean the next head coach might want to live out of boxes until something is made official.
Philip Rivers automatically negates the need for Tony Romo, but that didn't necessarily mean that Scott Linehan would take his name out of the hat to become the next head coach.
Honestly, I think Linehan is in a better situation in Dallas, which means this move for both Tony Romo and Linehan is pretty unlikely.
Okay, finally a team that makes a little bit of sense for both Scott Linehan and Tony Romo. However, Buffalo may decide that they will stick with Anthony Lynn, but nothing has been made official just yet.
I don't believe the Buffalo Bills are as bad as their record suggests. They have playmakers on both sides of ball to work with, especially on offense.
Scott Linehan and Tony Romo could do wonders with offensive weapons like Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy, but it looks to me like the Bills could possibly be thinking about getting younger and starting a rebuild.
I don't think Linehan or Romo would like to join a team that is even remotely considering starting to rebuild, because that would likely mean that they would be trading away some of their better players and starting from scratch. So, I think we can scratch the Buffalo Bills off the list.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were thought to be a team set to break out in 2016, but nothing ever materialized which led to Gus Bradley's departure and the fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft.
This could be a really intriguing opportunity for Scott Linehan. The Jaguars have a solid roster and quite a few young players to build around. Of course, Linehan's experience working with young QB's could possibly help Blake Bortles finally reach his potential.
Unfortunately with Bortles in place, it is unlikely that Linehan would bring Tony Romo in, but then again Romo could help with Bortles development.
If Scott Linehan is offered the head coaching job with the Jaguars, it is an opportunity that he might not be up to pass up. The AFC South division is one of the worst divisions in the NFL and could be up for grabs in 2017.
Overall, Linehan might not be able to pass up an opportunity with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but it is highly unlikely Tony Romo joins him.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams spent their first overall draft pick on a quarterback Jared Goff in last year's draft, so that automatically rules out Romo and Linehan continuing their relationship in LA. However, this could be an intriguing head-coaching opportunity for Linehan.
Again, Linehan's experience working with young QB's can be a huge benefit to the LA Rams and most importantly Goff. Goff has the tools necessary to succeed, but needs the coaching to hopefully reach his potential.
There is a lot to like about the Rams and with the right head coach, they could take a huge step in the right detection, becoming competitive once again.
With players like Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald, Tavon Austin, and even Kenny Britt, there are plenty of offensive weapons that Linehan would have at his disposal. It would be interesting to see if he could do with the Rams what he has been able to do with the Cowboys.
There should be a number of coaches lining up for this job, which makes me believe that Scott Linehan would jump at the chance to become the LA Rams next head coach.
To be completely honest, I think this would be the ideal situation for both Scott Linehan and Tony Romo. The Denver Broncos have the most complete roster out of all of these teams and if not for the quarterback play this season, they likely would have made the playoffs.
I think I would go as far as saying if Romo joins the Broncos, they would likely be the Super Bowl favorites in 2017.
This is the one team where I believe Romo has a better chance of playing for then Scott Linehan does coaching.
I think Romo would be ecstatic to join the Broncos. Denver has arguably one of the best, if not the best defense in the entire NFL. They also have just enough offensive weapons to keep Romo happy and make things difficult for their opponents.
I could honestly see John Elway and the Denver Broncos being interested in bringing in Tony Romo, but ultimately it will come down to what type of compensation Jerry Jones is looking for in return. If the asking price isn't too steep, I think there is a good chance Tony Romo is in a Broncos uniform next season.
I would love to see Scott Linehan become the next a coach of the Denver Broncos, but not more than I would like to see Tony Romo get a chance to be their next starting QB. Ideally, I wouldn't mind seeing Linehan and Romo be a Bronco in 2017.
What do you think?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.
Time to see What Darius Jackson can do as Zeke’s Backup?
I hate to say it because I really like Rod Smith, but I think it may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to reevaluate the running back position as it pertains to Ezekiel Elliott's primary backup. Smith just hasn't been good this year, which is why I think it may be time to see what Darius Jackson can do if given the opportunity.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting the Dallas Cowboys move on from Rod Smith or demote him right now, but I would promote Darius Jackson from the practice squad to the active roster as insurance in case something were to happen to Zeke. It just seems the right time to make that move after #21's injury scare Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles.
You may have forgotten, but Ezekiel Elliott had to spend some time in the medical tent Sunday against the Eagles. He was luckily able to return to the game not long after, but it did shine a spotlight on Rod Smith and the lack of depth behind him.
Despite how much I like Rod Smith, and I do, he just hasn't been the same player this season as he was last year as Zeke's fill-in. He is just not running with any kind of authority and has been too apt to run east and west instead of north and south. I think it's one of the reasons why the Cowboys have continued to give Zeke such a heavy workload, despite him being banged up.
Now, Rod Smith did look a little better against the Eagles, but I still believe it would be wise for the Cowboys to promote Darius Jackson to the active roster. Having more depth at such a physically demanding position is just smart football.
With the Dallas Cowboys playoff spot all but secured, it might be time to start thinking about lightening Ezekiel Elliott's workload just a little bit. Whether it's Rod Smith or Darius Jackson, the Cowboys have to find someone who can step in and be productive.
Rod Smith has had his opportunities this year, but hasn't really been able to capitalize like we believed he could. It might be time to turn to Darius Jackson, a fan favorite, who unfortunately just hasn't been able to prove what he can do as of yet in a meaningful game. I think it's time we change that.
As much as I like Rod Smith, I might like Darius Jackson just a little bit more. I think he is kind of like a poor man's Ezekiel Elliott. He is just as athletically gifted and can be a threat as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield. He just needs the opportunity to prove it.
There's really no way of knowing if I'm right or wrong about this, but I believe he is worthy of a roster spot on game day if nothing else. I'd rather have him and not need him then need him and not have him.
Do you think it's time to see what Darius Jackson can do?
Cowboys Lassoing NFC East Title as NFC Dark Horse
Well don’t look now but the Dallas Cowboys are in control of their division and anything short of a catastrophic collapse will see them hosting the first round of the playoffs. Dallas strengthened their grip on the NFC East by knocking off a divisional rival and the reigning Super Bowl champions with a 29-23 overtime win over the Eagles.
Those who have a favorite online sportsbook and wagered on the Cowboys were ecstatic to see Dak Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a 15-yard touchdown pass in overtime, thus covering the 3 ½ point impost that oddsmakers hung on Dallas.
The Cowboys have now won five consecutive games, with three of those over divisional opponents Philadelphia (twice) and Washington. But before we celebrate, we must consider that there's still a mathematical possibility of either Philadelphia or Washington stealing the division crown away from the Cowboys.
The Giants' only hope is an outside shot at a wildcard berth if they win outright but they've been eliminated from contending for a division title due to their 1-4 record against NFC East teams.
Essentially, all the Cowboys must do is win one of their three remaining games in order to celebrate a division crown. If Philadelphia or Washington loses any of their three games they will be out due to tie breakers that go in the Cowboys’ favor.
As of this moment, the Redskins are a disaster with no one under center to captain their rudderless ship, and the Eagles must defeat the Rams in LA, which would be considered a stunning upset seeing as any reputable online sportsbook is offering the Rams as 9 ½ point favorites as of this writing; then they must win at home against Houston and on the road against the Redskins.
Of course, the Cowboys are counting only on themselves to reel in the division title and with games at Indianapolis, home against the Bucs, and wrapping their season in New Jersey against the Giants, at least one win seems likely.
The addition of Amari Cooper to the Dallas offensive arsenal has been a game-changer as the former Oakland Raider hauled in 10 of 13 targets for 217 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner last Sunday against Philadelphia. He was the top-tier receiver Prescott had been lacking and his presence on the field improves both the passing game and running game by virtue of his dynamic playmaking abilities. Ezekiel Elliott has eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards in four of the six games since Cooper has been on the Cowboys roster.
Furthermore, Dallas has averaged 24.4 points per game over their last five wins with Cooper in the lineup, which is more than five points improved from where they were prior to their winning streak without him in a Dallas uniform.
In addition, Prescott has morphed from a game manager at 202 passing yards per game to a game breaker as evidenced by his 285.7 passing yard average in six games with his new target at his disposal.
Ultimately, the Cowboys will be tasked with turning all of this good mojo into a deep run into the postseason. We can now confidently say that there is one other team to consider besides the Rams, Bears, and Saints as this year’s NFC entrant into the Super Bowl. However, Dak Prescott will need to eliminate turnovers and interceptions if Dallas is truly going to contend against the powerhouses they will face in the playoffs.
Last Sunday, Prescott caught fire in the fourth quarter and ended with 455 yards passing, connecting on 42 of 54 passes with three touchdowns, but his two interceptions were converted into nine points by Philadelphia. As we move forward, Prescott will need to lead right from the get-go and understand that one poor decision can cost his team what is now a realistic shot at a championship season.
Cowboys en Español: Sí, Amari Cooper Lo Valió
Cuando los Dallas Cowboys sorprendieron a la NFL mandando una selección de primera ronda por el receptor Amari Cooper de los Oakland Raiders, la respuesta fue muy dividida. Al final de cuentas, Cooper estaba pasando por una temporada bastante mala junto a su equipo. Sus números iban en decline y muchos habían perdido la fe en la ex-estrella de la universidad de Alabama y cuarta selección global en el NFL Draft del 2015.
Pero sorpresa, sorpresa. Desde que se unió a las filas de los Dallas Cowboys, Amari Cooper ha demostrado que la decisión que tomaron los Jones fue una muy buena.
En esta liga, es muy complicado justificar el deshacerse de un pick de primera ronda.
Estamos hablando de la oportunidad de tomar a un novato joven con muchísimo potencial para convertirse en un jugador calibre All-Pro en algún punto de su carrera. No es fácil renunciar a una posibilidad así en esta liga. Sin embargo, Amari Cooper no ha hecho más que justificar el trade por parte de los Cowboys. Si continúa así, al final de la temporada podríamos estar hablando de que Dallas pagó de menos por él.
Es importante recalcar que Amari Cooper tiene 24 años de edad. Para el NFL Draft del 2019, los mejores prospectos en esta posición tienen a lo mucho cuatro años menos. A.J. Brown de Ole Miss tendrá 21 años cuando pise el emparrillado por primera vez en la NFL.
Y no, ninguno de estos receptores está cerca del nivel de talento con el que cuenta Cooper.
¿Qué tan grande ha sido el impacto de Amari Cooper?
Desde la semana 9, cuando los Cowboys consiguieron a Cooper, este ha tenido 30 recepciones. 23 de las cuales han resultado en un primer down o en un touchdown. Es el receptor con más atrapadas en tercera oportunidad. Podríamos hablar de las grandes estadísticas que el wide receiver ha conseguido vistiendo la estrella individualmente. Pero realmente, ha tenido un impacto en la ofensiva entera.
Desde su llegada, los Cowboys son el tercer mejor equipo en porcentaje de pases completos, el segundo en yardas después de la recepción y el tercero a la hora de convertir terceras oportunidades y mover las cadenas.
Simple y sencillamente, ha tenido un impacto que ningún otro novato del 2019 hubiera tenido en este equipo. Si, los Cowboys tendrán que pagarle una extensión cara en el futuro, pero cuando este sea el caso, lo habrá valido.
Amari Cooper es el ejemplo perfecto de porque la NFL es un deporte de equipo. Con los Raiders, todos lo tachaban como un jugador que ya no era bueno e iba para abajo. Pero bajo los Dallas Cowboys, se ve como un jugador que promete mucho para esta joven franquicia que necesitaba un verdadero #1 en la posición de wide receiver.
La ofensiva de los Cowboys tiene mucho talento. Es cuestión de mejorar en zona roja para que Dallas sea una amenaza bastante considerable en los playoffs de la NFL.
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