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Dallas Cowboys: Scott Linehan on Cowboys’ Kris Richard: ‘If someone’s smart enough to hire him as a head coach, he’s going to dominate’

FRISCO — NFL teams have a type when it comes to head coaches, though it evolves. These days, the preferred hires are clearly young and offensive-minded. 

Look no further than Kliff Kingsbury at Arizona, Matt LaFleur at Green Bay, Adam Gase at the New York Jets, Kyle Shanahan at San Francisco and Sean McVay, the 32-year-old second-year head coach who will lead the Los Angeles Rams against the Cowboys in the NFC divisional round Saturday night in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 

“The narrative gets built, and it’s great for these guys, there’s some really, really sharp young guys that have done great,” said Scott Linehan, the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, 55, and former head coach of the St. Louis Rams. “It looks to be the trend, a little bit of a college background or attachment to an offense that’s hot that particular year. It goes in cycles. Next year, it might be all guys who are disciples from some hot defensive scheme. 

“People are basically getting in spread formations … and throwing the ball more. When you have those kind of tools to work with, that makes sense. More power to them, the guys earn it. Good for those guys.”

However, Linehan wanted to point out that he believes that Dennis Erickson, his college coach at Idaho who was recently selected for the College Football Hall of Fame, deserves credit for revolutionizing offenses decades ago. 

“I texted him and said, ‘I want some of these young guys to do their homework and find out who really revolutionized the game of football with the spread offense,'” Linehan said. “I’m giving props to Coach Erickson. These guys are the benefactors of it.”

While offensive-leaning coaches are hot as head coaches, it’s Dallas’ defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Kris Richard who has been a candidate for at least three head coaching jobs this season. He still could land the Miami Dolphins job. And Linehan sees Richard as a future head coach. 

“He’s going to be a fabulous head coach, he’s fabulous at whatever he does,” Linehan said. “He’s certainly impacted our team in a huge way … taking our game to a new level, not just on defense but as an overall team. Kris is going to be awesome. If someone is smart enough to hire him as a head coach, he’s going to dominate.” 

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