Dallas Cowboys: What's Dez Bryant's Ceiling with Scott Linehan Calling Plays?

Alex Hall@@AlexKHallCorrespondent IIIFebruary 11, 2014

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29:   Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys runs off of the field in the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 29, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have brought in Scott Linehan to be the offense's passing game coordinator, which should lead to big numbers from Dez Bryant.

Linehan was a pass-happy offensive coordinator in Detroit the last four seasons, which explains why Jason Garrett wants him to handle his passing game. The last two stops that Linehan has made have led to big years for his team's No. 1 receivers, and Bryant is set to be his latest success story.

During his time as head coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2006-08, Torry Holt posted two 1,000-yard seasons. In fact, Holt's numbers from the 2006 and 2007 seasons are almost identical.

He had 93 receptions both years with 1,188 yards in 2006 and 1,189 the next year. Holt also posted 20 touchdowns during Linehan's tenure.

Linehan's other case study is harder to judge due to the freak ability that is Calvin Johnson. Still, there's considerable credit that is due to Detroit's former coordinator.

Johnson and Linehan were together from 2009-13. During Linehan's time with the Lions, Megatron posted career-high numbers in yards per game, receptions and receiving yards.

Johnson never posted less than 984 yards in a season with Linehan calling plays. He also had two straight seasons from 2011-12 when he posted 1,681 and 1,964 receiving yards, respectively.

Bryant has been putting together some great numbers of his own the past several seasons. Now he gets to work with the same guy who helped the careers of two of the game's best receivers in recent history.

Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

The Cowboys have made Bryant a vital part of their offensive plans in recent years, but in 2013, he was shut down at times by opposing teams. The Oklahoma State product was held to less than 50 yards receiving in five different games last year.

Linehan should be able to help Bryant learn to deal with double-teams and other defensive schemes used to limit his impact. Double-teams haven't slowed Johnson down for some time, and part of that reason is likely due to some help from his former coordinator.

As DallasCowboys.com writer Rowan Kavner pointed out, Garrett and Linehan have made offenses much worse off work effectively.

He noted that in 2005, when both were on Miami's coaching staff, the Dolphins boasted the NFL's No. 14 offense with Gus Frerotte under center. Chris Chambers also posted 1,118 receiving yards with 11 touchdowns that season.

Garrett and his new passing game coordinator have much more to work with in Dallas than they did in Miami nine years ago. Bryant has every bit as much talent as Chambers and Holt and arguably as much as Megatron himself.

He has also built a noticeable chemistry with Tony Romo over the past few seasons, which likely has to do with his recent success. 

Dallas has brought in one of the league's best authorities in putting together a formidable passing game. Paired with another phenomenal No. 1 receiver to work with, Linehan should work wonders with Bryant.

Given Linehan's history, there's no question he'll try to get the ball to No. 88 early and often on Sundays. Bryant has been putting together some great numbers the past few seasons, but expect him to top those easily now that he has Linehan to work with.