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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?

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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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23 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.

  • 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

Is 3-3 Without Ezekiel Elliott A Win For Dallas?

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys 2017 Roster Projection: Preseason Week 2
Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s funny how quickly perception can change in the NFL.

A little over two weeks ago, the sky was falling on the Dallas Cowboys. They had just been blown out three straight times, twice at home and twice against direct NFC playoff competitors. Cowboys Nation wanted firings – whether that meant head coach Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, Rod Marinelli, or all of the above.

Dak Prescott couldn’t survive without Ezekiel Elliott, and all of the change made to the defense was beginning to be called a failure by the masses.

Fast forward to this week. The Cowboys have now been the deliverers of butt-kickings the last two weeks, and now sit at 7-6 with an outside chance at a playoff spot. And while the team looked like a complete mess without Elliott previously, a win Sunday would put them at 3-3 over the course of the Pro Bowl running back’s suspension.

And is that really all that bad?

Heading into the suspension, most fans probably would’ve taken 3-3 without Elliott and 8-6 overall. Most fans would’ve though that would put the Cowboys right in the thick of the things in the NFC playoff hunt. And most would’ve assumed we’d be happy with an 8-6 Cowboys team.

Unfortunately, 8-6 most likely won’t be good enough in this year’s playoff race. Especially considering the return of Aaron Rodgers and previous losses to both the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. Plus, the entire NFC South has been fantastic this season (besides Tampa Bay) and two teams from the West look legit as well.

So maybe this just isn’t the Cowboys’ year. But, the success of other teams in the conference shouldn’t cloud our perception of what the Cowboys have done this season if they were to win Sunday night. A win over the Raiders this week would qualify the team’s handling of the Elliott suspension as a “success” of sorts (in terms of on the field, at least) in my opinion.

They would have kept themselves alive in a deep NFC playoff race, discovered a legitimate offensive weapon in Rod Smith, maintained a solid rushing attack over the majority of the six games, and allowed for some real growth from their young quarterback Dak Prescott.

I know the first three games of the suspension were awful, and a team with the talent of the Cowboys shouldn’t be losing that way three times in a row, or three times in a season at all. But, something should be said about how the team has weathered that storm, and kept themselves above water in this competitive conference.

But, of course, the result Sunday night could change all of this if the Cowboys come out and lay an egg in Oakland, effectively ending their season before Zeke even gets back. In that case we will more vividly remember the three horrific losses in which the team was out-coached and embarrassed. But, still those games should be remembered regardless of Sunday’s outcome.

So maybe success is a bit of a strong word.

This week’s game is not only a huge one in terms of the 2017 playoff race, but also may be an important one for determining what the 2018 Cowboys will look like.

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Star Blog

Do We Know What The 2017 Dallas Cowboys Are Capable Of?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys 2017 Roster Projection: Training Camp Begins

For the Dallas Cowboys, the playoffs have begun a bit earlier. After putting themselves in a tough position, they need to win out in order to have a shot at playing in January… and even then, they need a ton of outside help to make it.

Less than a year ago, we saw the Cowboys become the #1 seed in the conference with a 13-3 record under rookie QB Dak Prescott. So naturally, it’s fair to say that the fact that after 14 weeks the record of this football team is 7-6 is very disappointing.

Some have even questioned, are they even worthy of being a playoffs team? 

Despite suffering from some key injuries and well… suspensions, the Cowboys shouldn’t be left off the hook. Players and coaches should be blamed. But even still, it’s hard to believe that Dallas wouldn’t have win at least one more game with Tyron Smith, Sean Lee or Ezekiel Elliott available.

Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott Long-Term?

I’m convinced that if Zeke hadn’t been suspended, the Cowboys would at least have one more win. If that were the case, we probably wouldn’t be suffering thinking about what combinations would get our favorite team in the postseason.

All of this makes me wonder… Do we know what this team is capable of? 

I think not. Let’s take a quick look at the games Dallas has lost this year.

  • @ DEN Broncos 
  • vs LA Rams (No Sean Lee, Cowboys’ defense allowed 35 points)
  • vs GB Packers (No Sean Lee, Cowboys’ defense allowed 28 points)
  • @ ATL Falcons (No Tyron Smith, no Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys scored seven points)
  • vs PHI Eagles (No Tyron Smith, no Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys scored nine points)
  • vs LA Chargers (No Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys scored six points)

I believe in the “next man up” mentality. But not when you’re talking about going from Tyron Smith, who is arguably the best LT in the league to Chaz Green and Byron Bell. Sure, the coaching staff should’ve made a change earlier when Green was getting Dak killed, but Bell wasn’t much better.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to make excuses for this football team at all. In fact, it’s the same thing when you take a look at wins. Through 14 weeks, the Cowboys have just been able to beat one NFL team with a winning record: The Kansas City Chiefs. The thing is, despite being 7-6, the Chiefs are 2-8 since week 6. I’m not sure I’d qualify that as a winning team.

We haven’t seen this team face a strong, winning opponent and actually beat them. The Cowboys have one more game to win without Zeke, and then they’ll be on to face the Seattle Seahawks. If Dallas gets to that game with an 8-6 record, the outcome of the Seattle game could define the Cowboys’ 2017 season.

With Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee and Tyron Smith all ready to go, it’d be the first time this year we see the Cowboys go against a quality opponent with all of their star players. Will this defining game come too late? Perhaps. It’s no secret that the Cowboys need a ton of outside help in order to get into the playoffs with 10-6 record.

Dallas Cowboys Wishlist At Denver Broncos 1

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten #82, QB Dak Prescott #4. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

But at least, it’d be nice to see our team at least doing the job they can control and winning out. Even if it’d be painful to see them go 10-6 and still miss the playoffs… as fans, we probably want to see them doing their job.

For now though, it’s all about the Oakland Raiders. One more week without Ezekiel Elliott. After surviving a trap game against the Giants, the Cowboys must do the same again as they prepare to face a football team that has also been disappointing this season but still has dangerous play-makers, such as Derek Carr.

And then, we might find out just how good the 2017 Dallas Cowboys really are.

Tell me what you think about “Do We Know What The 2017 Dallas Cowboys Are Capable Of?” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott Long-Term?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott's Future?

It’s funny how quickly some players are able to establish themselves as professional athletes and grow their fan base. That is exactly what Ezekiel Elliott has done in just a little over a years time since becoming a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, given his current situation, it’s that fan base that might be starting to turn on him a little and doubt his long-term future in the NFL.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are fully aware of the six-game suspension the NFL slapped Ezekiel Elliott with based on nothing more than accusations of possible domestic violence. Right or wrong, guilty or innocent, it happened and there is no taking it back. But unfortunately, because of the suspension Elliott will now have to walk the straight and narrow if he wants to have any kind of career in the NFL.

I honestly don’t think Ezekiel Elliott is a bad guy, but the slightest slip up will more than likely put his career in jeopardy. It doesn’t matter how big or small the infraction, the NFL has already decided they are going to make an example of him.

RB Ezekiel ElliottFrom here on out, Elliott is going to have to live like he is under a magnifying glass. Any kind of slip up, big or small, will likely cause the league to suspend him an entire season. This unfortunately has been weighing on the minds of a lot of Cowboys Nation and has to be at least a little bit concerning for the Cowboys organization.

You see, the Dallas Cowboys have Elliott under contract for at least three more years after this season. He has already proven how important he is to the offense and how much production dips without him in the lineup. They absolutely want him on the field because he makes them better. But, any kind of slip up would pretty much erase one of those three years. Look no further than what has happened with Randy Gregory.

I’ve heard many fans voicing their concerns about Ezekiel Elliott’s long-term availability with the Cowboys. They are afraid Elliott’s immaturity will end up getting the best of him and Zeke unfortunately has done nothing to ease those concerns so far.

I for one am not all that concerned about Zeke’s future in the NFL. I think his six-game suspension has served as an eye-opening experience and that he will do better from here on out to put himself in better situations and surround himself with better/more trustworthy people.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel ElliottYou can see anytime Zeke is on the field his passion for the game and how much he enjoys it. I don’t think he’s going to put something he cares so much about in jeopardy. But unfortunately, he already has a bull’s-eye on his back and can’t afford to take a misstep. That will without a doubt put his future career in jeopardy.

I personally can’t wait to see how #21 responds when he is able to suit up once again next week against the Seattle Seahawks. I think he is going to play with a chip on his shoulder and run angry. That is the best way he can stick it to the league for suspending him based on accusations and another reason why I’m not concerned about his future in the NFL.

I know if it was me, my mindset would be to turn myself into the best player possible and once again become one of the more popular athletes in the league. That is about the only way he can say “F U” to the league, and I think that’s exactly what he will do.

Are you concerned about Ezekiel Elliott long-term?

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