Scott Linehan has been the Lions' offensive coordinator for the past five years, but can he get the Dallas run game going?
For the past five years Linehan was the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator. In the last three seasons, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown for 14,655 yards and 90 touchdowns with 52 interceptions.
From 2011-13, Calvin Johnson caught 302 passes for 5,137 yards and 33 touchdowns. So that would appear to be good news for Dez Bryant.
But what about the running game?
Linehan has been an offensive coordinator/head coach from 2002-2013, except for the final 12 games of the 2008 season when he was fired as head coach of the St. Louis Rams.
Using the 11 seasons as a backdrop, Linehan has had a top-10 ranked rush offense just twice and those were in his first two years with the Minnesota Vikings in 2002 and 2003. A Linehan-led running game has not finished better than 12th in the NFL since. With the Lions he had running games ranked Nos. 24, 23, 29, 23 and 17.
The Cowboys have been at their best offensively when DeMarco Murray has been involved.
Linehan is not averse to the run.
In 2002, Michael Bennett ran for 1,296 yards for the Vikings. A year later Minnesota had four different players with at least 400 yards rushing. In 2005 with the Miami Dolphins, where he worked with Jason Garrett for the first time, Ronnie Brown ran for 907 yards and Ricky Williams had 743 yards.
In his first year with the Rams, Steven Jackson, the runner so many Cowboys fans wanted them to take in 2004, ran for 1,528 yards. He had 1,002 yards in 2007.