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Monday, January 27, 2014
Updated: January 28, 11:12 AM ET
Sources: Cowboys hire Scott Linehan

ESPN.com news services

The Dallas Cowboys will have their third offensive playcaller in as many years with Scott Linehan joining the coaching staff as passing game coordinator, a source told ESPN Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen.

The former Lions offensive coordinator took part in Monday's team meetings, sources said, but the team has not made an official announcement.

Mortensen and ESPN's Ed Werder reported Friday that the Cowboys were considering hiring Linehan.

It is not known what this will mean for offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, but a source told ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins that Callahan would be opposed to the move. Callahan, however, is expected to remain with the team. He had been offensive coordinator/offensive line coach the last two seasons.

Callahan, who is signed through the 2014 season, became the playcaller in 2013 when Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones wanted to take those duties away from coach Jason Garrett, who handled the responsibility from 2007-12.

Linehan spent 2009-13 as the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator, piloting one of the most prolific passing games in the NFL led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson. In 2005 he worked with Garrett for a year with the Miami Dolphins as the offensive coordinator under Nick Saban and Garrett as the quarterbacks coach. The two have remained close ever since.

Scott Linehan
Scott Linehan has been hired by the Cowboys to handle playcalling duties, according to sources.

Linehan will call plays for an offense that finished fifth in the league in scoring (27.4 points per game) but put up only 5,461 yards, the fewest by a Cowboys team since 2005.

Tony Romo had 31 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. Dez Bryant had his second-straight 1,000-yard season and 13 touchdowns in earning his first Pro Bowl appearance. DeMarco Murray became the first Dallas runner with more than 1,000 yards in a season since 2006.

Garrett increased his involvement in the offense late last season, relaying the calls from Callahan in the coaches booth to either Romo or Kyle Orton. He maintained Callahan continued to call the plays even in the change of mechanics, and said after the season he thought the offense worked "fine," with him as something as an outsider for the first time since he joined the Cowboys in 2007.

Linehan torched the Cowboys in a Detroit win on Oct. 27, 2013. Stafford threw for 488 yards and had the game-winning touchdown plunge in the final seconds. Johnson caught 14 passes for 329 yards, the second-most in a game in NFL history. Reggie Bush ran for 92 yards.

The Lions had 623 yards on offense, which was the most the Cowboys ever allowed before the New Orleans Saints gained 625 yards three games later.

Callahan, who has run the West Coast offense in the past, was making adjustments to calling plays in a timing-based offense, which is something the Cowboys have employed since 2007.

Callahan had his struggles gaining the concepts with the offense, even delaying his vacation last year so he could make sure he had a command of things. Callahan had to not only deal with an offense he wasn't familiar with, but the increased involvement of Romo, who became more active in game planning in 2013.

Information from ESPN.com Cowboys reporter Todd Archer and ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.