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Report: Dallas Cowboys to Name Mike Nolan Defensive Coordinator

With the news coming down yesterday that Jason Garrett was out as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, the front office is making quick work to assemble their staff for the 2020 season. After it was reported earlier today that former Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy was named the Cowboys next head coach, they’ve filled another spot on the staff. Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys will hire New Orleans Saints Linebackers Coach Mike Nolan the defensive coordinator.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys new defensive coordinator is going to be Mike Nolan, which also leaves the #Saints with a key spot to fill on their D, too.

Mike Nolan has coached in the NFL since 1987 when he took over as the Denver Broncos Linebackers Coach and Special Teams Coordinator. He’s spent time as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants (1993-1996), Washington Redskins (1997-1999), New York Jets (2000), Baltimore Ravens (2002-2004), Denver Broncos (2009), Miami Dolphins (2010-2011), and most recently the Atlanta Falcons (2012-2014). From 2005-2008, he spent four years as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

His career has had its ups and downs as a defensive coordinator, but he’s had some success. Five times his teams finished in the top 10 in points allowed. As mentioned below, his teams have finished in the top 10 in takeaways 10 times.


Joey Ickes on Twitter

In Mike Nolan’s 21 years as a HC or DC in the NFL, his teams have finished in the top 10 in takeaways 10 times… His last stint as a DC was in ATL from 2012-2014, the falcons intercepted 46 passes in those 3 years, with a low of 10…

Now the question becomes what does this mean for their defensive personnel. Mike Nolan has experience in both a 4-3 (which is the Cowboys current base defense) and a 3-4, which is what he’s coached a majority of his time in the NFL. The Cowboys have the personnel to make the switch to a 3-4 look in their base packages if they want to, but they would certainly need to add some pieces to make it work.

Mike Nolan has done a good job coaching the linebackers for the New Orleans Saints the last few years and got the Patrick Willis-era in San Francisco started.

Adding Nolan as the defensive coordinator signifies the end of an era for the Tampa-2 defense in Dallas, which began with Monte Kiffen in 2013 then continued by Rod Marinelli. Kris Richard ushered in more cover-3 techniques, but a lot of that same philosophy was present for much of the last seven seasons.

There are still quite a few decisions to be made on the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, but this was one of the big dominoes to fall. Now we wait to see if this signifies a change in defensive philosophy moving forward.

What do you think?

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John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

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  1. Hopefully, McCarthy can get the Cowboys organization back to being the elite franchise it was in the 70’s and 90’s. In other words, being the hunter, instead of the hunter, it’s been for the past 24 years.

    If the Dak experiment [ I would franchise tag], doesn’t provide the positive results of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February 2021. Coach McCarthy might want to draft a quarterback .

  2. I’m with Mr. Cowboy, I would Franchise Dak…..he has not proven big money due to his performances in some of the biggest games the Cowboys have needed him to be “Semi-Elite”
    High throws, low throws, missed throws and reads…..he is an exemplary role model of what traits you want in a QB as far as leadership, team mate etc….his off the field, down to earth, genuine good human being traits are extraordinary….but I’m not sure you pay him top dime if he can’t deliver on the field which is what you ultimately pay him for. One more year to see if he makes the leap, he didn’t do it in 2019.

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