Some of the blame has to fall on the personnel, with the Cowboys choosing to come into the season with arguably the worst group of pass-catchers in the NFL. Some of it falls on the bad luck they've had with their offensive line, with star center Travis Frederick forced to sit out with Guillain Barre Syndrome. Some of it is simply due to the poor play of quarterback Dak Prescott and everybody else involved with the offense. But the majority of the blame almost has to lie with the actual design of their offense, which is probably the single least creative and most predictable in the NFL. And there, the blame lies with head coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.
Garrett and Linehan were two of the only survivors from last offseason's coaching staff purge, but according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys actually considered replacing Linehan as well, only for Garrett to decide to go with Linehan's coaching staff and wide receiver recommendations instead. Rapoport said that the Cowboys considered firing Linehan again during the bye week, which would have resulted in Garrett taking over play-calling duties, which he has not had since early in his head coaching tenure. (Bill Callahan was the play-caller prior to Linehan.)
Rapoport additionally reported that Garrett's job is safe through the end of the season, but that both Jerry and Stephen Jones have an affinity for Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, who would be a target if they move on from Garrett at the end of the season.
From @gmfb Weekend: The #Cowboys seriously weighed moving on from OC Scott Linehan during the bye week and have an affinity for #OU coach Lincoln Riley if they move on from Jason Garrett... who @MikeGarafolo says may take back play-calling. pic.twitter.com/8HRHaSKAHw— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 11, 2018
The time to move on from Garrett and Linehan has long since come, and Riley makes sense as a target. Dallas clearly wants to make things work with Prescott under center, with Jerry stating last week that he intends to give Prescott an extension and the team recently trading a first-round pick for Amari Cooper in order to give Prescott more help. But none of that will matter if they don't design an offense that puts him in position to succeed. Riley's Sooners have one of the most explosive offenses in the country and NFL coaches have been heading to Norman to learn from him over the past few years. He is sure to be one of the hottest coaches on the market, and if the Cowboys do manage to land him, it would actually give them a chance at joining the modern NFL.