Should Rod Marinelli Be on the Hot Seat? ⋆
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Should Rod Marinelli Be on the Hot Seat?

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

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Should Rod Marinelli Be on the Hot Seat?

Should Rod Marinelli Be on the Hot Seat?

After being one of the hottest teams in the NFL a year ago, the Dallas Cowboys have struggled quite a bit in 2017. Surprisingly, the problems have come from every aspect of the game, offense, defense and special teams.

However, the defense is the biggest issue for this football team. That is a fact.

It doesn’t matter how much you argue whether Dak Prescott should’ve thrown that pass on second and one or not. Or if he should have slid at the one-yard line instead of scoring.

The truth remains that this is a defense that allowed Aaron Rodgers and his offense to drive the ball down the field to score a game-winning touchdown in less than a minute and a half.

And it isn’t just about last week. The Cowboys haven’t had a dominant defense for what feels like an eternity. Some blame the players, some blame the coaches.

For a long time, I’ve been reluctant to blame coaching. But now, I think it’s high time we take a look at Rod Marinelli being the problem for this defense.

Cowboys Nation has always defended Marinelli saying that he “has done more with less”, arguing this is a defense without talent from which Rod Marinelli has exceeded expectations every year.

Cowboys Blog - Rod Marinelli: Cowboys' Key Piece on Defense

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

To a point, this is fair. In 2014, the Cowboys were supposed to have the worst defense in NFL history and ended up being the 15th best in the league. The Cowboys finished their regular season 12-4 that year.

But to be honest, I think that we are underestimating the talent this defense has.

I understand that maybe the Cowboys don’t have the talent necessary to become an elite defense, but they’re not even decent. Rod Marinelli might be a great teacher, and we’ve seen it with a lot of projects he’s had over the years. But when it comes to coaching the entire defense, he probably can’t handle it.

Rod Marinelli uses the Tampa 2 defense a lot, which is a zone scheme. Players like Morris Claiborne, for instance, might’ve had better careers in Dallas if man-to-man coverage was used more often.

The Tampa 2 scheme also relies a lot on its defensive line to pressure the quarterback. This is why it seems like we never see a blitz by the Cowboys’ defense.

Looking at this Cowboys defense, I can’t help but wonder what the team can do with these players. Rookies Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis would probably benefit from playing man-to-man coverage more than zone coverage.

Has CB Jourdan Lewis Earned A Starting Role?

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Byron Jones, Xavier Woods are players that could be great at blitzing with the athleticism they both have. Once Jaylon Smith is 100% healthy, he could be used in a lot of different ways, too.

This defense might not be great today, but it does have a lot of talent ready to be exploited. Rod Marinelli’s conservative approach to the game is not what they need.

I think however this season ends for the Cowboys, this will be Marinelli’s last year in Dallas. This team is very young and its talent shouldn’t be wasted.

There are a lot of directions this team can go if they decide to move on from their defensive coordinator. I think the most likely option will be giving linebackers coach Matt Eberflus the chance. He has done a great job with the linebackers and he could become a great defensive coordinator.

For now, let’s hope this defense finds a way to do just enough to help the offense win football games. The future of the Cowboys this season is as uncertain as it could be. They could turn it around easily, or it could go south really fast.

Maybe Rod Marinelli won’t be the only change we see in the coaching staff in 2018.

Tell me what you think about “Should Rod Marinelli Be on the Hot Seat?” 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!

Mauricio Rodriguez

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

12 Comments
  • ruben perez

    Muy Bueno te felicito

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Gracias, amigo!

  • Fatfan

    I agree, good article…fitting considering. I’ve wondered about Marinelli. I often hear about the wonders he does for a D; but I just wonder about the D. It might be time for a different D Coordinator

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      I agree with you. We’ve been talking about how Marinelli doesn’t have talent around him… but I think he does. At least to be better than what they are now. Thanks for reading, my man!

      • Michael Barthel

        Marinelli needs to go!! Every season he has been coordinator our pass defense has been bottom of the league. Our run defense was decent but that was with a healthy Terrell McClain for the first time since he joined Dallas. Now he’s gone and Dallas run defense gets shredded. I honestly wish we would of kept Bruce Carter he was a very good linebacker. But all I’m saying is every since marinelli been with Dallas we have given up alot of yards and have had a very suspect pass rush. I think it’s time for him to go

        • Michael Barthel

          We def have the talent on defense. Brown and Lewis at corner. Smith and Wilson at linebacker. Taco Irving and Lawrence on the line. Jones and woods at safety. I’d like to see them call up Marquez white I’m a Florida State fan and I watched him alot there and the boy can play plus he taller than any of our corners now. White Lewis awuzie and brown could make a great secondary for years to come. White gave up 2 tds at Florida State that’s great stats

          • Mauricio Rodriguez

            I agree, this defense has more talent than given credit for.

  • Rodney Alston

    I believe it’s time for Rob Marinelli to go. We need a new defensive coordinator that willing to play more man coverage. When we play zone we gave up to many yards. Take look at Morris Clariborne,and Barry Church, they are playing good football. It seem to me every time our player go to another team they shine, why is that. Demarus Ware leaves and get a super bowl ring with Denver Broncos. The bottom line is we need a change because the offense can’t keep carrying the defense.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      I think this Cowboys defense – which has more talent than given credit for – could use a scheme change.

      • Rodney Alston

        I agree the defense has a lot talent, but the student is only as good as the teacher.

  • Albert Smith

    I enjoyed the article but who would we get to come in and replace Marinelli, I have a lot of friends mentioning John Gruden as a head coach replacement but he’d keep Marinelli on so it makes no sense.

    • Michael Barthel

      So with us missing on Navarro bowman why doesn’t Dallas sign perry riley Jr very good run stopper and isn’t that bad in coverage. I say pull the trigger

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