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Cowboys considered firing OC Linehan during bye week

The Dallas Cowboys' offensive woes are no secret, and it appears the team was close to making a significant change to their coaching staff even before the season started.

Speaking on Good Morning Football Weekend, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett seriously considered firing offensive coordinator Scott Linehan before the start of the season. Instead, Garrett decided to "go all-in" with Linehan and embrace some of the changes to the receiving room he recommended, per Rapoport.

Garrett also mulled over the idea of firing Linehan during the bye week following the Cowboys' loss to the division rival Washington Redskins last month, Rapoport reported. In the end, the team opted to fire offensive line coach Paul Alexander.

Following Monday's loss to the Tennessee Titans, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the team would not make any in-season coaching changes.

The 3-5 Cowboys will have to win the vast majority of their remaining slate of games in order to preserve their playoff aspirations. If the team fails to make the postseason for a second straight season, it could jeopardize Jason Garrett's nine-year run in Dallas.

While Garrett's job should be safe through the balance of the season, the team has potential replacements on their radar should they feel compelled to make a move.

"If they do end up replacing Jason Garrett at the end of this season, I'm told both [Cowboys executive vice president] Stephen and owner] Jerry Jones have an affinity for [Oklahoma coach] Lincoln Riley," Rapoport reported. "So the [Cleveland Browns, if they're interested in Baker Mayfield's old coach, may have some competition."

As Jerry Jones noted after Monday's loss, there's still plenty of football left for the Garrett, Linehan and the rest of the Cowboys to turn things around. A win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday could help Dallas get its season back on track.

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