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Potential Candidates To Replace Cowboys’ Coaching Staff

Brian Martin

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The Dallas Cowboys look as if they are a team who have completely lost faith in their coaching staff, despite what Jerry Jones may say. If rumors are true, the players have become frustrated with their head coach Jason Garrett as well, and that tends to have a trickle effect all the way down the line. This could lead to the Cowboys cleaning house, but are there any candidates out there who would be an upgrade?

There are many of us around Cowboys Nation who have already started looking at coaching replacements, whether it is a new head coach or new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Because of that, I decided to put a list together of some of the coaching candidates I would target to take over for the Dallas Cowboys.

Continue to read below to see the coaching candidates I like, and as always please feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comment section at the end of the article.

Head Coach Candidates

Josh McDanielsJosh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels might just be the most recognizable names who will be linked to the Dallas Cowboys if they start looking for a new head coach. Bringing the Patriots offensive system to the Cowboys should do wonders for both Dak Prescott and the rest of the offense. I believe he has learned from his mistakes when he took over as the HC in Denver and would do really well here in Dallas. I personally believe his downfall with the Broncos was because he tried to make Tim Tebow an NFL caliber QB and staked his career on it. He would have more to work with in Prescott.

Matt LaFleur

Matt LaFleur is a product of the Shanahan coaching tree you could say. He developed a relationship with Kyle Shanahan when with the Texans, and followed him to Washington when Mike Shanahan took over as the head coach of the Redskins. He was the mentor to Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins until he followed Kyle once again to Atlanta to become the quarterbacks coach. There he helped Matt Ryan have some of the best seasons in his career. He is now serving as the current offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, but will be on the short list among HC candidates shortly. The Cowboys should strike while the iron is hot.

Todd Haley

Todd Haley was the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver coach from 2004-2006, but then joined the Arizona Cardinals to become their offensive coordinator. Under his playcalling, the Cardinals became one of the most innovative and explosive units in the NFL. His success as the OC in Arizona earned him the head-coaching job with the Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately, that didn't last long which is why he is currently serving as the OC in Pittsburgh. The Steelers currently have one of the best offenses in the entire NFL and it is in large part due to the playcalling of Haley. I think he would be a great fit in Dallas and would work well with an intrusive owner like Jerry Jones.

John DeFillippo

John DeFillippo isn't a name I expect the majority of you to know or even heard of, but I believe he is an up-and-coming offensive coach in the NFL. He is currently serving as the QB coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and has done a fantastic job developing Carson Wentz. He was the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns in 2015 before that coaching staff was let go. I'd probably prefer to have him as an offensive coordinator first, but the only way the Cowboys pry him away from the Eagles is to make him the new HC. In fact, the New York Jets requested an interview with him last season to become their OC, but Philadelphia blocked that request.

Gus Bradley

Gus Bradley had his chance to be a head coach in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but wasn't put in the best situation to succeed. At the time, the Jaguars were still a bad team, which ultimately cost Bradley his job. I think given another opportunity, he would become one of the better coaches in the league. The Cowboys have been trying to mimic the Seattle Seahawks defense for years, so why not hire a new HC who was responsible for the Seahawks defensive success from 2009 to 2013.

Mike Vrabel

I really think Mike Vrabel will be at the top of a lot of teams list looking for a new head coach. Since retiring, Vrabel has continuously risen in the coaching ranks and is now currently serving as the Houston Texans defensive coordinator. After losing three of his best defensive players (Brian Cushing, JJ Watt, and Whitney Mercilus), he still has the Texans defense playing like one of the better units in the league, which proves his adaptability and ability to game plan. I think players will gravitate to him because of his credibility in the league as both a player and coach, and want to play for him.

Offensive Coordinators

Gary Kubiak

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Kubiak

If Jason Garrett remains the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and Scott Linehan is fired, Gary Kubiak would be at the top of my list to become the next offensive coordinator. I believe his offensive philosophy would fit perfectly in Dallas and do wonders for Dak Prescott. Kubiak likes to use a lot of misdirection to help the QB take shots down the field, but remains balanced in the running game as well. The system wouldn't change all that much, but I do believe he is more creative and knows how to use his weapons better than Linehan.

Mike McCoy

Mike McCoy might've been recently fired as the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, but he won't be out of a job for long. Someone had to be the "scapegoat" for how poorly the Broncos have been playing this season, and McCoy was that person. I believe he would be an immediate upgrade over Linehan and fit in nicely with Jason Garrett. McCoy's greatest asset might be his adaptability. Whether it was Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton, Peyton Manning, or Philip Rivers, McCoy has been able to find success as an offensive coordinator. That adaptability would be a welcomed addition from Linehan.

Defensive Coordinators

Don Brown

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Don Brown

Don Brown (62) is on the older side then any other coach on this list, but he has nearly 40 years of coaching and has found success at every stop along the way, even as an intern coach for the Yale baseball team in 1992. Brown is the polar opposite of Marinelli and loves to be aggressive. He loves to get after the QB and draws up blitzes from every position on defense. Plus, he already would have working knowledge of some of the Cowboys young players (Taco Charlton and Jourdan Lewis).

Greg Schiano

Mentioning Greg Schiano's name in relation to becoming the Dallas Cowboys next defensive coordinator will certainly be unpopular among a lot of fans, but he does have a proven track record. He completely turned around the Rutgers program when he was a head coach starting in 2001 and still has several of his former players in the NFL. Schiano is currently serving as Ohio State's defensive coordinator, but could be looking to return to the NFL after being fired in 2013 as the Buccaneers head coach. His hard-nosed disciplinarian defensive philosophy could be exactly what the Cowboys defense needs.

Matt Eberflus

Surprisingly enough, not many Dallas Cowboys fans know who Matt Eberflus is, but he could possibly be promoted to defensive coordinator if Rod Marinelli loses his job. Eberflus is currently Dallas' linebacker coach and has been with the organization since Rob Ryan was the defensive coordinator. He has experience in both the 3-4 and 4-3 defensive scheme and could be the perfect combination of Rob Ryan's aggressive and Rod Marinelli's conservative approach.

Any of these coaching candidates sound good for the Cowboys?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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24 Comments
  • oneputter

    i like jim swartz as a hc. his defenses are always top notch and i think he can work with the current team/defense we have here. this time around may be better for him as he has gained more experience. as for OC i think gary kubiak

    swartz and kubiack would make a good team.

    • Brian Martin

      I thought about adding Jim Swartz, but there’s just something about him that rubs me the wrong way LOL. But, I agree he should probably be a candidate

  • Bill_In_NC

    Give me some Josh McDaniels please. Although, unless the team continues to crater like the last three games, I doubt that Jason is going to be fired. I do think that Marinelli is gone, the players have lost confidence in his ‘system’.

    • Brian Martin

      Josh McDaniels is at the top of my list as well. Right there with him though is Matt LaFleur. He doesn’t have the name recognition of McDaniels yet, but he’s one of my favorites.

    • Brian Martin
  • the_truth_hurts

    Dallas has to fire Garrett and soon…He is only good at being an OC, that’s it…He sucks as a HC

    • Brian Martin

      I don’t know if they will fire JG or not. Jerry Jones supposedly still believes in him, but Garrett isn’t doing any favors for himself.

  • Rory Jones

    They need to clean house with the coaches. Tired of watching games and asking why are they not making any adjustments. Every other team goes into half time changes things and comes out different. Jason goes in and clearly gives a speech and says good job. Linehan is awful. How do you let a LT get beat all game and not run plays to help him? They gave him no help. That’s not hard to change a game plan for. Jason also makes stupid calls all the time. Its time to move on.

    • Brian Martin

      Rory, I think a lot of Cowboys fans would agree with you. We are going to have to wait and see if they are going to make any coaching changes though.

  • Russ_Te

    Since Jimmy Johnson left (I say fired), the deal has always been that Jerry had to find a coach who was willing to let him have all the personnel power, run the draft, decide contracts to extend and not, how to spend the cap, make or refuse to make all trades.

    So that leaves you with game plan, practice routine and play calling. And that yields you coaches like Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Switzer, Garrett, on and on. The one time Jerry ceded a little bit of additional power was when he found out that Parcells said on TV that he might be able to work with Jones. Finally – after the three 5-11 years of Campo – Jerry could hire a proven NFL winner.

    That bumped the team up to the .500 range and lasted 4 years. 2 playoff games under Parcells, 2 losses.

    The only saving grace this time will be that Jerry has let Stephen take more power in recent years. Jerry wanted to take Johnny Manziel, but Stephen listened to the football men and said he wanted Zack Martin. Jerry allowed it. Stephen was right.

    So that new dynamic in the Jones ownership structure, might get us a better HC.

    While Marinelli may get swept out with a new regime, I actually still think he does about as well as is possible with the talent he gets. He got real upturns out of Lawrence and Irving. Just when that improved, the stark realities of the rebuild of the secondary arrived. It may be 2 drafts away from a formidable unit.

    HC’s who save their job by junking the coordinators, are usually gone soon themselves. If Garrett does not get enough of an upturn to be competing for the last wild card spot as the season closes, I think the moves have to start with him.

    Because of the youth of Dak, Zeke, Gathers, Switzer – I think the new HC should have proven offensive expertise. A coach who can be to Dak what (former OC) Bill Walsh, was to Montana as 49’ers HC.

    Somebody still young and hungry, ala Sean McVay. Let Stephen pull the trigger on the hire.

    • Brian Martin

      Russ, I agree with everything you said. You may have noticed, but most of my HC candidates are offensive minded. I think I would prefer a HC who calls the plays. That’s why McDaniels and LaFleur are at the top of my list

  • Corey

    Todd Haley should replace Jason Garrett, Mike McCoy should replace Scott Linehan and Greg Schiano should replay Rod Marinelli. This team needs a lot of help and replacing this current coaching staff is the place to start.

    • Brian Martin

      I would absolutely be on board with that coaching staff. I think it would be a huge upgrade over what the Cowboys currently have.

  • Russell

    I have hopes that the OC and DC will be replaced with more innovative minds, it has been frustrating to see the constant intransigence of our current OC and DC to make changes during games when the game plan is not working. Hopefully, Jerry and Stephen will look for that instead of picking from personal favorites.

    • Brian Martin

      Russell, I think that’s what we are all hoping.

  • nick

    I like the sound of Mcdaniels, and don brown. I feel like we need something new and creative, good football minds that can atleast make adjustments and are not completely stuck in there ways and stubborn. Id really like to have a head coach with a fiery personality to rub off on the team. I seen an article about romo being a HC and I don’t know about that yet. But what about an OC brian ?

    • Brian Martin

      I really don’t know what to think about Romo as an offensive coordinator. There’s not anything to go on there except that he was a good QB. I would prefer to go with someone who has a more proven track record personally.

  • Dan Williams
  • Dan Williams
  • Molten Fiya

    Ken Norton Jr, no brainer! He’s got rings!

    • Brian Martin

      I like him as a DC. I would be on board bringing him in.

  • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com Cowboysdude

    I love how you guys all write about firing positional coaches that are hamstrung because they are running the HC’s system …..amazing. This guy has had 7 years…7. HE ISN’T A HEAD COACH…..when people wake up to that they’ll figure it out. NOT to mention that the “GM” continues to ignore the D and suddenly everyone is expecting miracles from trash…. wake up dude. The ENTIRE coaching staff needs to be replaced along with 2/3 of the Defensive players…..

    • Brian Martin

      It really doesn’t matter if they are running JG’s system or not, changes need to be made. That’s the nature of the business. If you’re not succeeding, you are replaced. And, I agree the entire coaching staff needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, I’m not sure JG will be going anywhere anytime soon.

  • RICK MILLER

    I dont no why,But I know Jerry will keep all his coaches,so the misery will continue at least another season.Something tells me he may regret the 5 year contract he just signed Garrett to.

Star Blog

Time to see What Darius Jackson can do as Zeke’s Backup?

Brian Martin

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Will RB Darius Jackson Stick With Cowboys Second Time Around?

I hate to say it because I really like Rod Smith, but I think it may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to reevaluate the running back position as it pertains to Ezekiel Elliott's primary backup. Smith just hasn't been good this year, which is why I think it may be time to see what Darius Jackson can do if given the opportunity.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting the Dallas Cowboys move on from Rod Smith or demote him right now, but I would promote Darius Jackson from the practice squad to the active roster as insurance in case something were to happen to Zeke. It just seems the right time to make that move after #21's injury scare Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles.

You may have forgotten, but Ezekiel Elliott had to spend some time in the medical tent Sunday against the Eagles. He was luckily able to return to the game not long after, but it did shine a spotlight on Rod Smith and the lack of depth behind him.

Despite how much I like Rod Smith, and I do, he just hasn't been the same player this season as he was last year as Zeke's fill-in. He is just not running with any kind of authority and has been too apt to run east and west instead of north and south. I think it's one of the reasons why the Cowboys have continued to give Zeke such a heavy workload, despite him being banged up.

Rod Smith

Dallas Cowboys RB Rod Smith

Now, Rod Smith did look a little better against the Eagles, but I still believe it would be wise for the Cowboys to promote Darius Jackson to the active roster. Having more depth at such a physically demanding position is just smart football.

With the Dallas Cowboys playoff spot all but secured, it might be time to start thinking about lightening Ezekiel Elliott's workload just a little bit. Whether it's Rod Smith or Darius Jackson, the Cowboys have to find someone who can step in and be productive.

Rod Smith has had his opportunities this year, but hasn't really been able to capitalize like we believed he could. It might be time to turn to Darius Jackson, a fan favorite, who unfortunately just hasn't been able to prove what he can do as of yet in a meaningful game. I think it's time we change that.

As much as I like Rod Smith, I might like Darius Jackson just a little bit more. I think he is kind of like a poor man's Ezekiel Elliott. He is just as athletically gifted and can be a threat as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield. He just needs the opportunity to prove it.

There's really no way of knowing if I'm right or wrong about this, but I believe he is worthy of a roster spot on game day if nothing else. I'd rather have him and not need him then need him and not have him.

Do you think it's time to see what Darius Jackson can do?



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Star Blog

Cowboys Lassoing NFC East Title as NFC Dark Horse

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Cowboys Lassoing NFC East Title as NFC Dark Horse

Well don’t look now but the Dallas Cowboys are in control of their division and anything short of a catastrophic collapse will see them hosting the first round of the playoffs. Dallas strengthened their grip on the NFC East by knocking off a divisional rival and the reigning Super Bowl champions with a 29-23 overtime win over the Eagles.

Those who have a favorite online sportsbook and wagered on the Cowboys were ecstatic to see Dak Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a 15-yard touchdown pass in overtime, thus covering the 3 ½ point impost that oddsmakers hung on Dallas.

The Cowboys have now won five consecutive games, with three of those over divisional opponents Philadelphia (twice) and Washington. But before we celebrate, we must consider that there's still a mathematical possibility of either Philadelphia or Washington stealing the division crown away from the Cowboys.

The Giants' only hope is an outside shot at a wildcard berth if they win outright but they've been eliminated from contending for a division title due to their 1-4 record against NFC East teams.

Essentially, all the Cowboys must do is win one of their three remaining games in order to celebrate a division crown. If Philadelphia or Washington loses any of their three games they will be out due to tie breakers that go in the Cowboys’ favor.

As of this moment, the Redskins are a disaster with no one under center to captain their rudderless ship, and the Eagles must defeat the Rams in LA, which would be considered a stunning upset seeing as any reputable online sportsbook is offering the Rams as 9 ½ point favorites as of this writing; then they must win at home against Houston and on the road against the Redskins.

Of course, the Cowboys are counting only on themselves to reel in the division title and with games at Indianapolis, home against the Bucs, and wrapping their season in New Jersey against the Giants, at least one win seems likely.

The addition of Amari Cooper to the Dallas offensive arsenal has been a game-changer as the former Oakland Raider hauled in 10 of 13 targets for 217 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner last Sunday against Philadelphia. He was the top-tier receiver Prescott had been lacking and his presence on the field improves both the passing game and running game by virtue of his dynamic playmaking abilities. Ezekiel Elliott has eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards in four of the six games since Cooper has been on the Cowboys roster.

Furthermore, Dallas has averaged 24.4 points per game over their last five wins with Cooper in the lineup, which is more than five points improved from where they were prior to their winning streak without him in a Dallas uniform.

In addition, Prescott has morphed from a game manager at 202 passing yards per game to a game breaker as evidenced by his 285.7 passing yard average in six games with his new target at his disposal.

Ultimately, the Cowboys will be tasked with turning all of this good mojo into a deep run into the postseason. We can now confidently say that there is one other team to consider besides the Rams, Bears, and Saints as this year’s NFC entrant into the Super Bowl. However, Dak Prescott will need to eliminate turnovers and interceptions if Dallas is truly going to contend against the powerhouses they will face in the playoffs.

Last Sunday, Prescott caught fire in the fourth quarter and ended with 455 yards passing, connecting on 42 of 54 passes with three touchdowns, but his two interceptions were converted into nine points by Philadelphia. As we move forward, Prescott will need to lead right from the get-go and understand that one poor decision can cost his team what is now a realistic shot at a championship season.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Sí, Amari Cooper Lo Valió

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys' Revenge Against Atlanta Hinges on These 3 Key Matchups 1

Cuando los Dallas Cowboys sorprendieron a la NFL mandando una selección de primera ronda por el receptor Amari Cooper de los Oakland Raiders, la respuesta fue muy dividida. Al final de cuentas, Cooper estaba pasando por una temporada bastante mala junto a su equipo. Sus números iban en decline y muchos habían perdido la fe en la ex-estrella de la universidad de Alabama y cuarta selección global en el NFL Draft del 2015.

Pero sorpresa, sorpresa. Desde que se unió a las filas de los Dallas Cowboys, Amari Cooper ha demostrado que la decisión que tomaron los Jones fue una muy buena.

En esta liga, es muy complicado justificar el deshacerse de un pick de primera ronda.

Estamos hablando de la oportunidad de tomar a un novato joven con muchísimo potencial para convertirse en un jugador calibre All-Pro en algún punto de su carrera. No es fácil renunciar a una posibilidad así en esta liga. Sin embargo, Amari Cooper no ha hecho más que justificar el trade por parte de los Cowboys. Si continúa así, al final de la temporada podríamos estar hablando de que Dallas pagó de menos por él.

Es importante recalcar que Amari Cooper tiene 24 años de edad. Para el NFL Draft del 2019, los mejores prospectos en esta posición tienen a lo mucho cuatro años menos. A.J. Brown de Ole Miss tendrá 21 años cuando pise el emparrillado por primera vez en la NFL.

Y no, ninguno de estos receptores está cerca del nivel de talento con el que cuenta Cooper.

#DALvsPHI: Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott Key to Clipping the Eagles Wings?

¿Qué tan grande ha sido el impacto de Amari Cooper?

Desde la semana 9, cuando los Cowboys consiguieron a Cooper, este ha tenido 30 recepciones. 23 de las cuales han resultado en un primer down o en un touchdown. Es el receptor con más atrapadas en tercera oportunidad. Podríamos hablar de las grandes estadísticas que el wide receiver ha conseguido vistiendo la estrella individualmente. Pero realmente, ha tenido un impacto en la ofensiva entera.

Desde su llegada, los Cowboys son el tercer mejor equipo en porcentaje de pases completos, el segundo en yardas después de la recepción y el tercero a la hora de convertir terceras oportunidades y mover las cadenas.

Simple y sencillamente, ha tenido un impacto que ningún otro novato del 2019 hubiera tenido en este equipo. Si, los Cowboys tendrán que pagarle una extensión cara en el futuro, pero cuando este sea el caso, lo habrá valido.

Amari Cooper es el ejemplo perfecto de porque la NFL es un deporte de equipo. Con los Raiders, todos lo tachaban como un jugador que ya no era bueno e iba para abajo. Pero bajo los Dallas Cowboys, se ve como un jugador que promete mucho para esta joven franquicia que necesitaba un verdadero #1 en la posición de wide receiver.

La ofensiva de los Cowboys tiene mucho talento. Es cuestión de mejorar en zona roja para que Dallas sea una amenaza bastante considerable en los playoffs de la NFL.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Sí, Amari Cooper Lo Valió" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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