Dallas Cowboys: Will coaching changes make an impact?
With the offseason officially underway some coaching changes by the Dallas Cowboys have begun to take place, but will it really make a difference?
In their first official week of offseason activity, the Dallas Cowboys have started the process of making some subtle changes to their coaching staff. These changes (or expected changes) so far have been a mixture of retirings, coaches not receiving contract extensions, firings, and even a case where a coach is being granted permission to seek opportunity elsewhere.
Coaching changes that are expected to happen so far include:
- Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia being allowed to seek outside employment- this outside employment is widely speculated to be with Jon Gruden who is expected to take the Oakland Raiders job. Bisaccia has coached for Gruden in the past while Gruden was coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Tight ends coach Steve Loney is expected to retire
- Wide receivers coach Derek Dooley is speculated to want to return to the college game and possibly seek an offensive coordinator position.
- Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson is strongly considering retiring and is without a contract at the moment.
- Secondary coach Joe Baker is not expected to return
- Running backs coach Gary Brown is also currently without a contract as his future is very much up in the air.
Perhaps the biggest piece to the current position coaching carousel is linebackers coach Matt Eberflus who has done a terrific job with the Cowboys linebacking core. Eberflus could be in line for a big pay day and is expected to be a popular name with teams looking to fill defensive coordinator positions. Losing someone like Eberflus, who some are considering to be a rising star in the league, could be a major blow to this already struggling defense.
It would be a shame to lose someone like Eberflus who is a young, up and coming coach waiting to be given a shot due to retaining a coach like Rod Marinelli who has proven over and over again to be a shadow of what he once was.
So what do all these positional coaching changes mean? Could owner Jerry Jones be setting up the 2018 season as a make or break year for coach Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli? I think the answer to that question is an emphatic yes.
By Jerry Jones allowing Garrett to reassemble a huge portion of his positional coaches while still retaining both of his offensive and defensive coordinators there are no more scapegoats or excuses for next year. All of Garrett’s chips have been pushed to the center of the table. If next year ends up being another mediocre 8-8 or 9-7 season with no postseason birth, there should be a major coaching overhaul in Big D with the Cowboys looking for a new head coach to bring with him a whole new staff.
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While these subtle changes to the positional coaches can certainly make a difference in individual player development, it is highly unlikely that any of these changes will have any major impact on the overall success of the team in 2018; or at least not to the extent of a new head coach or new coordinators. This will be Garrett’s last shot to assemble a competent staff in order to get the most out of this team on a week to week basis or it should be judgement day in Dallas next offseason for the entire coaching staff.