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REPORT: Mike McCarthy’s Job is Safe, but Change Coming on Defense?

Yesterday morning it was reported that Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy would not be losing his job this offseason despite the team’s poor performance in 2020. However, that same report said change could be coming on defense and specifically when it comes to Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan.

This report came hours before the Cowboys’ 30-7 blowout victory over the Cincinnati Bengals; just their fourth win in 13 games this season.

The head coach’s job security isn’t that surprising. Between dealing with the pandemic in his first season and losing QB Dak Prescott in Week 5, McCarthy has had plenty to overcome in making this transition after almost a decade of Jason Garrett.

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From @NFLGameDay: #Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is considered safe, but changes could come on the defensive side of the ball.

However, one of McCarthy’s decisions was bringing in Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator. As of today the Cowboys are ranked 23rd in overall defense and 32nd, dead last, in run defense and points allowed.

The hiring of Nolan has never pleased many Cowboys followers. He hasn’t been a premiere defensive mind in the NFL since the early 2000s and even then was probably riding Marvin Lewis’ coattails in Baltimore. His other stops as a head coach and DC throughout the years haven’t been raging successes.

But Nolan and McCarthy have history going back to when Nolan was HC of the 49ers and hired McCarthy as his offensive coordinator. And unfortunately, Nolan’s hiring in Dallas has always felt more like a return of a favor than what was best for the Cowboys.

The results speaks for themselves. Even with its weaknesses last year Dallas’ defense was still 9th overall in yards allowed and 11th in scoring. There has been significant drop-off under Mike Nolan without much change in personnel.

Between the 4-9 record, getting flexed out of primetime TV slots, and failing to take advantage one of the worst divisions in NFL history, the Dallas Cowboys definitely need some change. And based on the evidence, a new defensive coordinator is certainly warranted.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!


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  1. Whether Nolan got a fair shake or not this team needs a fresh voice on the defensive side. The defensive players (and the whole team for that matter) need to get the bad taste of 2020 out of their mouth, Everyone but Nolan needs to just reboot and come into next season with a clean slate and be ready to get to work. And in a perfect world ALL positions would be up for grabs, but in Coach Jerry’s world it doesn’t work that way.

  2. Honestly thought Kris Richard should be DC. I know a lot of people would disagree but I felt Marinelli hamstrung him in his last year here.

  3. I don’t think Jerry would do it, but personally would like to see Nolan fired today. Why wait? Other than the fact that after the season the pool of DCs will be better. Otherwise why not get a jump start on next season.

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