For the first five weeks of this season Jaylon Smith Color Rush Jersey , Scott Linehan was scapegoated by some for the offensive malaise the Dallas Cowboys were suffering. His play-calling was seen as unimaginative by some of the fanbase who claimed he was simply unable to get the team on track. But things looked radically different in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Any time an NFL team puts up 40 points on anyone it is significant, and when the defense in question is as highly ranked as the Jaguars were coming into that game, it is even more significant. We now have to see if things continue against Washington.All this year, there has been a serious question of just what the problem was on offense. Actually, it seemed to be a combination of things. Dak Prescott was not throwing the ball well, the receivers werenít giving him as much help as it seemed they should, and the offensive line was still struggling a bit with trying to meld Connor Williams and Joe Looney into the mix, while Tyron Smith and Laíel Collins were having their own struggles at tackle. That in turn made the running game not as effective at times as needed. All that led to the larger question of whether it was Linehanís game plan and play selection, or the failure to execute by the players. Last Sunday seemed to tilt things toward the latter. So there is certainly an argument to be made for the condemnation of Linehan to have been a bit premature. Even though I kept asking about just where the problem really was, including the Brews and the Boys podcast following the disappointing loss to the Houston Texans, I was also starting to lose faith in Linehan. But now, I am back to believing that he is capable of finding a way to win with Prescottís strengths and weaknesses, combined with the players around him. He certainly had all the answers the team needed last game. We still need to see that elusive consistency and a lot more competence on the road, but hammering Linehan just ignores the latest evidence we have. But that is my opinion. I threw the question out to my fellow writers here at BTB, and here are the responses I got.DannyPhantom: My opinion hasnít changed about Linehan. I believed he was a good play caller and I still believe that. Iíve seen too many good things from him to suddenly start thinking the game has passed him up. The Cowboys have three seasons in franchise history with 13 wins and heís a part of that. And that doesnít even include his first year as the OC in 2014 where the Cowboys put up the second most points in franchise history (467). When I watch the film closely, I see a lot of clever things going on. There are many times where the defense goes the wrong way and thatís attributed to how Linehan uses the threat of Ezekiel Elliott in his game plan. From motioning to bootlegs, from fake pitches to reverses - heís got them all turned around. These things have led to very successful plays for the Cowboys offense when the plays are executed correctly. And thatís what it really comes down to - execution . . . not the lack of creativity from Linehan. When it works, people love him, when it doesnít - people want him fired. That doesnít seem like a Linehan problem to me. Donít get me wrong, there are always things that can improve and the coaching staff will be the first to tell you that, but when you see them calm and collective with no panic in their face, donít interpret that as them being clueless and reluctant to change. Instead, recognize that as a measure of the belief they have in themselves and what this offense can do. The Cowboys always seem to have some position group that requires more time before it gets rolling. Last year, it was their secondary with all the new guys. This season https://www.dallascowboysfanshop.com/Antwaun-Woods-Jersey , itís both the wide receivers and tight ends. There is going to be a learning curve with these new changes and thatís a lot to put on the offense. So while it will be tough at times, it still feels good to see what this group is capable of doing. With Linehan, itís there and itís always been there.Dave Halprin: Iíve been pretty vocal in my beliefs that the Cowboys poor offensive showing has been roughly 75% on the players not executing and 25% on Jason Garrett/Scott Linehan. I would like to see the Cowboys use more rub routes at the point of release, and crossing routes that end up as natural pick plays, but that just doesnít seem to be in Linehanís plans. Using Prescottís legs more would also be a good thing, some more read-options or draws. But as Iíve watched the film week after week, itís pretty obvious plays are there to be had, the Cowboys players are just failing to execute. The majority of that falls on the shoulders of Dak Prescott. It almost always falls on the QB. He has to be more accurate which means better mechanics which means not being so jumpy and anxious in the pocket. He also needs to get past his tendency to lock on one side of the field, something he was better at in the Jaguars game when he scanned the field much better. The offensive line also needs to tighten up, something they seem to be doing as it looks like they are playing a little better as the season rolls on. Linehan can be better, but heís certainly not the overriding problem. Itís on the players, and much of that is on Prescott. When he plays better, the offense can flow, and they can put up a 40-burger on a tough defense.One Cool Customer: I think people get caught up in semantics too much, and confuse creativity with effectiveness. As my fellow writers point out, Linehanís offense was perfectly fine in 2016, and nobody at that time was complaining about a lack of creativity. But now that the offense is struggling to be effective, suddenly the narrative is all about the lack of creativity.Then again, when the offense got going against the Jaguars, it didnít take long for Tony Romo to marvel at the creativity of Linehanís offense, when in fact the offense hadnít changed, it was just working more effectively.The Cowboysí option offense doesnít have a lot of complex schemes. But when those schemes are executed properly, the offense can be highly effective. It doesnít often look like many of the Arena Football-type offenses currently en vogue, but executed properly DeMarcus Ware Jersey , this offense can be nearly unstoppable.Itís on Linehan to ensure that his offense works effectively and the players execute properly, so we canít simply say itís all on the players, but thereís no reason to doubt that Linehanís scheme can work. And as far as predictability and lack of creativeness goes, the Cowboys in the 90s were one of the most predictable and least creative offenses. Didnít stop them from winning.Michael Sisemore: Iím not going to ding Scott Linehan for creativity but the troubling thing about he and Jason Garrett to an extent is the stubbornness. Iím not sure that these guys always have a grasp on their personnel and itís not all just poor execution from the players themselves. With these receivers especially, the coaches have often called plays that rely on these receivers to win their matchups and thatís not conducive to the talent on the roster. At best, none of these receivers are more than complementary players. They may have fixed a few things with the Jaguars by using Cole Beasley all over the field but itís also a product of how preoccupied the Jaguars were with stopping the running game.So there you have our takes. Let us know what you think in the comments - politely, of course.Jason Garrett: Sean Lee should practice today, will be part of a rotation when ready Itís Wednesday and the Cowboys are preparing to play Washington. Before practice, Jason Garrett spoke to the media. (All Garrett answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes.)The Cowboys did some good things against JacksonvilleJason Garrett noted that the Cowboys did a great job against Jacksonville in all phases and cashed in on drives.Sean Lee will practice on WednesdayWeíll see what the status is with Sean Lee going forward this Sunday, but for now we know that heís expected to practice. Jason Garrett said he would be limited at outset, hopefully handles the work well, and gets a good practice in. Thatís great news especially with the bye week looming.Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, & David Irving are all anticipated to practiceHe noted that they all played in the game and hopes they can practice today without much issue but will keep an eye on them.ďWhen Seanís healthy and ready to go, Seanís going to playĒGarrett noted that Lee is one of their best players and it will be a work in progress but when he is ready he will be part of a rotation with Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.Cole Beasley is ďan exceptional athleteĒBeasley recorded 11 catches for over 100 yards in the win over the Jaguars on Sunday. The Cowboys know what a weapon he can be for them. Garrett expounded on how he has great quickness and change-of-direction, and knows how to use leverage to set up the defender in man-to-man and can find the holes in zone. Communication on the road is keyThe Cowboys havenít won a game on the road so far this season, and Jason Garrett said that youth might be a factor in that. Ultimately he said that point would be irrelevant anyway and simply noted that the Cowboys arenít executing on the road. They will try to address crowd noise and other issues in practice this week.Who would have ever thought Jason Garrettís Cowboys would be a home team?Tavon Austin has a unique skillset and the Cowboys may try to find someone who can do something similar.Jason Garrett was asked if Tavon Austin being out would force the Cowboys to try to find someone who can do the number of things that Austin can on a football field. He said they have some players who have similar skills to Tavon and will try to identify those. He noted that he didnít want to get into scheme, and when asked if IR was a possibility for Tavon, Jason Garrett went to the well saying they were taking things ďday by day.Ē Adrian Peterson is ďeliteĒDallas will take on one of the greatest running backs to ever play this Sunday in Adrian Peterson. Jason Garrett showered AD will compliment after compliment. Thatís a matchup to watch.The Cowboys know Washington has a good front sevenThe Redskins have devoted a lot of draft capital to the defensive side of the ball, particularly to the defensive line. Jason Garrett acknowledged that this would be a challenge as those players on the Redskins are all healthy and playing well. Alex Smith is different than Kirk CousinsWhile the Redskins swapped quarterbacks over the offseason, Alex Smith isnít exactly bad. The Cowboys will have their hands full and Jason Garrett is aware of that.Teams probably think about how you win the division firstItís often said that you have to focus on winning your division when building your football team and considering the Cowboys play in the NFC East thatís an interesting thought. Jason Garrett said he wouldnít speak for anyone else, but he did actually say that he thought teams do ďgenerallyĒ consider their division when structuring rosters.