Typically during the offseason we all tend to focus on the incoming and out going players and we often times overlook the changes that are made to the coaching staff, if any. Well, that's what I want to do today because I believe there are three new Dallas Cowboys Assistant Coaches who could have a big say in how the 2018 season turns out.
After the disappointing end to the 2017 season, the Dallas Cowboys decided it was time to make some changes to their coaching staff. They now have several new faces who will be coaching up this year's roster and running the meeting rooms, but there's no way of knowing right now if they can make the difference expected.
I don't know where you stand, but I actually like the new assistant coaches the Dallas Cowboys hired and I expect big things from them this season. In fact, Head Coach Jason Garrett's job could depend on them making an immediate impact. But, some of these new hires should be more impactful than others. Below are the three who I believe will be difference makers this year.
Kris Richard, DB Coach & Passing Game Coordinator
Out of all of the moves the Dallas Cowboys made this offseason, the hiring of Kris Richard, the Seattle Seahawks former defensive coordinator, might be the most important/impactful. He has already received high praise from several of the Cowboys players and has been spoken highly of by Rod Marinelli and several other of the coaches as well.
Richard may be a Dallas Cowboys Assisting Coach right now, but it is expected that he will become the next DC once Marinelli retires, possibly as soon as next season. In fact, you can already see his fingerprints all over the defense.
Kris Richard's main task this offseason is getting the best out of the Cowboys young secondary. He has already decided he wants Byron Jones playing as a CB, and with Chidobe Awuzie starting on the opposite side, Richard has a starting tandem with the height/length he prefers in his defensive backs. But, how he decides to deploy Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and the starting safeties could impact the outcome of the 2018 season.
Sanjay Lal, WR Coach
No other new Dallas Cowboys Assisting Coach may have more pressure to succeed this season as Sanjay Lal, who was brought into get more production out of the wide receivers. He has the tough task of working with a position that was pretty much overhauled this season and he needs to turn them into players who are more “Dak-friendly”.
Working with an almost completely unproven group of wide receivers could be a blessing and a curse for Lal. Ideally, he probably would have preferred to come in and work with a more established group of WRs. That way he has a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in order to know what needs to be worked on. But, he's getting a lot of young receivers who have little to no playing time in the NFL.
Fortunately, these young players can be molded the way he wants. He doesn't have to break bad habits as much and can focus on doing things the way he wants them done. Luckily for him, the Cowboys will still have a run first mentality on offense, but he still needs his WRs to be productive so that the entire offense isn't one-dimensional.
Ben Bloom, LB Coach
Ben Bloom technically isn't a new Dallas Cowboys Assistant Coach, but he's never shouldered more responsibility than he is expected to this season. You could say that Bloom has paid his dues in Dallas. He was hired in 2011 to be the teams defensive quality control coach and assistant linebacker coach to Matt Eberflus. He has also worked with the defensive line and as the club's assistant coach/special projects, among others.
After Matt Eberflus left to become Indianapolis' DC, Bloom was promoted as the Cowboys new LB coach. To say that he has his work cut out for himself maybe one of the understatements of the year. It's one of the few positions on the Cowboys roster where there still remains a lot of unknown. Luckily, having a player like Sean Lee is a godsend.
Where Bloom will make the most impact this season is his ability to get Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys first-round draft pick, and Jaylon Smith up to speed, since they are both expected to have major roles this year, possibly both as starters. How Bloom prepares these two players could and should have a major impact on how the entire defense performs.