Beginning yesterday, the NFL is hosting its first Coaching Clinic. Among the instructors for this event are two of the most important names in Dallas Cowboys coaching history. Also, two current Cowboys coaches are attending as students.
This three-day clinic was conceived, as said in a statement from the NFL, to help strengthen football through the development of coaches. Some of the details for what will be covered and how participants were selected was also shared:
“This year’s program will focus on the quarterback, offensive line, linebacker and defensive line positions. Participants were nominated by NFL clubs and include team representatives who currently have one-to-three years of coaching experience.”
Given these areas of instruction, it's no surprise that two of the most respected offensive and defensive minds of the last twenty years were invited.
Among the instructors are two key figures from the Cowboys' championship dynasty of the 1990s. Norv Turner was the Cowboys' Offensive Coordinator for its third and fourth Super Bowl championships. Dave Wannstedt (feature image) was the Defensive Coordinator from 1989-1992, winning one Super Bowl, after following Jimmy Johnson to the NFL from college.
Both of these coaches were instrumental in the Cowboys' 90s success. Dallas leaned on its superior offensive execution and the impact Turner had on those players, especially Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, is written all over the record books and in Canton. It was no surprise when Troy asked Norv to introduce him at his Hall of Fame induction in 2006.
Dave Wannstedt's impact has gone underrated over time, as has the Cowboys' championship defense he helped build. While everyone talks about the Triplets and the great offensive line of the 90s, Wannstedt coached guys like Charles Haley, Russell Maryland, Jim Jeffcoat, Ken Norton Jr., and Thomas Everett to being the league's number-one defense in 1992 and Super Bowl champions.
One of Wannstedt's former Cowboys players will be among the pupils in the Coaching Clinic. Leon Lett played defensive line for Dallas from 1991-2000 and is now the position coach for defensive tackles. He will be joined in the clinic by Turner West, who serves as the Defensive Assistant under Rod Marinelli.
Learning from Marinelli, universally considered one of the best defensive line minds of this generation, is its own high privilege. The opportunity to now go and learn from another great in Dave Wannstedt is wonderful for these two Cowboys assistant coaches.