FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) — Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan tells me as of Friday afternoon that he has not received an invitation to interview for a head-coaching vacancy — and he seems unperturbed by that.
“Nothing there,’’ Linehan told me while getting ready to dig into a gigantic salad courtesy of the training table at The Star in Frisco. “Hey, we’re preparing for the friggin’ playoffs!’’
Vacancies now dot the NFL landscape, and so so multiple requests for multiple interviews with candidates who are arguably not more accomplished than Linehan, the overseer of what might be most explosive, most versatile and best offense in football. With the Cowboys owning the first-round bye this week — the result of another “best’’ as Dallas is the NFC’s top seed — Linehan has been eligible and free to interview with teams.
Linehan, who had a previous shot as a head coach in 2006-08 but went 112-25 before being fired by the Rams, has the endorsement of his boss, head coach Jason Garrett.
“He’s done a fantastic job and it goes all the way back to the start of the offseason program and what we wanted to be on offense, the evaluations that we got in the draft, bringing guys to our team, and then once guys are here putting them in position where they can be successful,” Garrett said. “The obvious one is the quarterback. A rookie quarterback in the NFL is quite a challenge, and Scott’s done a great job with quarterbacks throughout his career. Veteran guys, young guys, guys with different styles and I would say his No. 1 strength is his ability to try to create an environment for those guys to be successful. He’s done a fantastic job of that this year. We’ve been a balanced offense. We’ve attacked a lot of different ways. I think we’ve made it hard on defenses and he’s the guy behind that.”
But if the rest of the NFL doesn’t quite see that? Maybe it’s because they give credit to Dallas’ on-field talent — and so, by the way, does Linehan.
“I don’t know if that’s true,’’ he recently said of his merit as candidate, “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.’’
And if somehow Linehan remains in a good situation in Dallas because he’s not as coveted as others?
For the Cowboys, that’d be a good thing, too.