Happy Wednesday, Cowboys Nation. With the NFL draft now settled and a handful of moves made via trades and signings, we might be close to the main roster for 2023 after all the final cuts, etc. are made later this summer.
With that said, now would be a good time to focus more on some of the coaching staff than the players. Mandatory minicamp starts in around three weeks.
I have talked about the importance of current players, draft picks, and others for the last few weeks, but how about the coordinators for Dallas?
I understand the players play, but the guys opening the playbook are also a huge reason for success in this league.
Before I start this, I understand that folks will have their own views. It is okay to disagree, but maybe tell me why instead of calling me an idiot or something similar.
Everyone has their own thoughts about things. It is getting old.
As of May 17th, below is my order of importance as we grow near the start of the season.
On most lists, Dan Quinn is probably at the top. Outside of the trades the team made this offseason, bringing Quinn back was one of the biggest wins.
Quinn single-handily turned maybe the worst defense in 2020 into a top-three defense in the last couple of years.
According to Pro Football Reference, before Quinn took over, the defense in 2020 with Mike Nolan allowed 29.6 points a game and allowed 6 yards per play. That is awful!
In 2021, the first season Quinn took over, they ranked 7th in points allowed, 21.1 a game. 21st in yards per play, giving up just over 5.
In 2022, the defense continued to grow and became even better. They gave up 20.1 PPG last year, good for 5th in the league, and 5.1 yards per play, good for 7th.
They did nothing but add great parts to his side of the ball this off-season—trading for Stephon Gilmore and resigning key players. Micah Parsons gets better every year.
I expect this defense to give the 49ers a run for their money.
John Fassel. I can tell you I NEVER truly appreciated what he brings to this team as the special teams coordinator.
In a role he has held since 2020, Fassel has kept this team above the middle of the pack every year.
We tend to forget that his job is more than just trying to fix the kicker when he struggles.
I put Fassel second because, as a special teams coach, finding a group to buy into only seeing the field when you kick off, return kicks, etc. is hard!
Fassell does get back probably the best special teams player the team has in C.J. Goodwin, who the team resigned in March.
He has also been very vocal about who he wants for his kicker, an issue they have yet to solve, so keep an eye on that situation.
Let me start by saying although Brain Schottenheimer is third in the pecking order of importance, he will play a huge role this year.
After Kellen Moore left to take the Chargers' offensive coordinator position, Schottenheimer was hired.
Mike McCarthy will take over the play-calling duties, but Schottenheimer will be a loud voice for the offense.
The system isn't broken; it has new faces handling the job, that's all.
Schottenheimer is just like his father and loves to lean on the run and play-action passing game.
His downfall has been the predictability of his play calls, but we should be okay with McCarthy doing that. (Hopefully).
One of my keys to this hire is that he can spend more time focusing on what is working and what isn't without having to worry about what play to call next.
If he sees something working or vice versa, he can attack it the moment the offense steps off the field.
This could all change tomorrow if the team signs or makes another trade.
Until then, Quinn is first, Fassel is second and Schottenheimer is third. Regardless of the order, all of them will play an important role in 2023.