The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff has been the subject of much scrutiny following the Cowboys' divisional-round loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
A lot of attention is on Mike McCarthy, Dan Quinn, and Kellen Moore, but there is a lot already happening below them on the org chart.
So far, six members of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff were either let go or allowed to reach the expiration of their contracts. Here are the roles in which you'll see changes during the 2023-2024 season.
Mike McCarthy thanks the six assistants for their contributions: pic.twitter.com/czwYWqlQzD
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) January 26, 2023
Rob Davis — Assistant Head Coach
Rob Davis was with Mike McCarthy during his years at Green Bay. He was the director of player engagement for the Packers from 2008 to 2017.
For the past three years, he was the assistant head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
Fans may not be as familiar with him, but Rob Davis being let go is significant. Davis is a big time McCarthy confidante. https://t.co/CO0nlXg993
— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) January 26, 2023
Davis' experiences as a Packers player representative (2005) and director of player engagement seemed to contribute to his focus on team cohesiveness and overall player health.
Davis had never coached football before, but being a life coach, he placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of establishing the right culture in the locker room.
For most teams, the position of assistant head coach is loosely defined and may change based on team needs.
In Davis' case, it meant staying connected to the executive wing and player programs, and scouting departments.
Mike McCarthy is credited with establishing a winning culture in Dallas.
It will be interesting to see if and how that culture changes without Davis in this role.
George Edwards — Linebackers Coach
The decision to move on from George Edwards is the most surprising. Even Micah Parsons responded emotionally to the news.
All I can say is thank you! Not for taking a kid from Harrisburg but for raising me like I was one of your own! I wouldn't have made so many leaps with out you! You will be missed! #love pic.twitter.com/oQLD1deUjd
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) January 26, 2023
Edwards' lesser-known title with the Dallas Cowboys was senior defensive assistant.
The 2022 season was his 25th season in the NFL and 33rd season as a coach. It seemed that he influenced the signings of several defensive players brought onto the Dallas Cowboys roster.
Some even predicted that he would replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator should Quinn ever leave that role.
– Anthony Barr
– Malik Jefferson
– Mackensie Alexander
– Trayvon Mullen
– and now Xavier Rhodes
So many defenders Dallas has added this year with either direct or tangential connections to George Edwards. Likely speaks volumes about who they trust to replace Dan Quinn.
— David Howman (@_DH44_) January 7, 2023
Edwards has been credited as a mentor to Micah Parsons and with helping Leighton Vander Esch return to form after the injuries he suffered in 2020.
It is hard to imagine who would be able to step in and fill those shoes.
Skip Peete — Running Backs Coach
Skip Peete is another coach whose contract expired at the end of the Cowboys' season.
He was the Cowboys' running backs coach from 2007 to 2012 and returned with Mike McCarthy in 2020.
Can confirm the Cowboys are moving on from running backs coach Skip Peete and senior defensive assistant George Edwards, who coached the linebackers. Mike McCarthy is making changes.
Moving on from Skip Peete does not bode well for the future of Ezekiel Elliott.
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) January 26, 2023
Some are using Peete's departure to predict the end of Ezekiel Elliott's time with the Dallas Cowboys. Those predictions are supported by little more than speculation, however.
The philosophy of the person who ultimately takes this role may influence what fans see on the field.
Zeke's future with the organization, though, is more likely to be determined by whoever is controlling the Cowboys' purse strings.
The Cowboys could save $ 11 million by releasing Ezekiel Elliott.
Joe Philbin — Offensive Line Coach
Joe Philbin is another coach who will not be retained.
Philbin was an offensive coordinator for the Packers under Mike McCarthy in 2018. He was named interim head coach for Green Bay after McCarthy was fired.
In 2020, Philbin reunited with McCarthy as the Cowboys' offensive line coach.
the fact that Joe Philbin and Rob Davis weren't brought back makes me believe that these moves were made by the front office, not Mike McCarthy. #Cowboys
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) January 26, 2023
The Cowboys' offensive line has had issues each season, but each season was also marred by injuries.
Perhaps a new coach with a different philosophy will manage such issues in a different way.
Leon Lett — Assistant defensive line coach
Leon Lett has a long history with the Dallas Cowboys.
He was a defensive lineman for the team from 1991 to 2000. During that time, he became a three-time Super Bowl champion and a two-time Pro Bowler.
Lett did a bit of coaching on the college level before returning to the Cowboys in 2011 as the assistant defensive line coach.
After 22 seasons, the Cowboys have decided to make a change.
Kyle Valero — Quality Control/Analytics
Valero's current role is quality control/analytics, but when he joined the Dallas Cowboys, he was the assistant wide receivers coach — the same title he held for two seasons with the Detroit Lions.
Even though his title changed, he continued to work closely with the Cowboys' wide receiver corps in recent years.
Cowboys want to get Tony Pollard more involved. That's not just lip service. Offensive assistant Kyle Valero is his private tutor, developing him as a slot receiver to get him and Ezekiel Elliott on the field more at same time. “Whatever they ask from me.” https://t.co/sHbhDqA5MF
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 11, 2022
Valero is credited with helping Tony Pollard develop his receiving abilities and helping T.Y. Hilton get acclimated to the Dallas offense.
He even worked with the tight ends group at one point.
Even with those bright spots on his resume, the quality control part of his role may have come into question.
The Cowboys have been criticized for their game planning and decision-making on the offensive side of the ball. Valero assisted in those areas.
After 10 years, the Cowboys are looking for a different voice to influence those decisions.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy is scheduled to have his final press conference of the 2022 season today at 3 pm. He is expected to discuss changes to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff while talking with the media.