After hiring a new head coach and coaching staff, which Dallas Cowboys are they most likely to lose their patience with quickly? Here are our top three guesses …
The Dallas Cowboys had a nearly full hockey-style line change within their coaching staff. That means new ideas and new philosophies will be injected into a team that spent nearly a decade under former head coach Jason Garrett. It also means no preconceived notions about the current roster in Dallas or any sense of investment.
For instance, the prior coaching staff invested nearly four years attempting to make college basketball star Rico Gathers into an NFL tight end only to release him last year with three career receptions under his belt. The new staff would have likely cut ties much sooner with someone like Gathers as they would have had a non-biased view of the player, regardless of the time invested.
That begs the question: Are there any other Cowboys players that might not benefit from having this new coaching staff in Dallas? Here are our top three guesses …
Trysten Hill, DT
The 2019 second-rounder was drafted to specifically fit in former defensive tackle Rod Marinelli’s defensive scheme. Yet, in his first season in Dallas, Trysten Hill did little to prove he belonged in Marinelli’s system being a healthy scratch for a whopping nine games.
With Mike Nolan as the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator and Jim Tomsula as the defensive line coach implementing a more complex scheme, Hill’s time in Dallas could very well end this summer. If the Cowboys do decide to part ways with the underwhelming Hill, the Las Vegas Raiders could be a landing spot as Marinelli was recently hired there as their defensive line coach.
Connor Williams, LG
The Cowboys shocked many fans when they elected to draft an offensive lineman in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Two years into guard/tackle Connor Williams‘ career and the jury is still out on whether that was a wise investment or not.
With Joe Philbin now in charge of the offensive line in Dallas, playing Williams in a starting role may no longer be the priority simply due to his lofty draft status. An unbiased elevation of his play could easily determine the Cowboys must look elsewhere to fill that role, possibly towards 2019 third-rounder Connor McGovern.
Chidobe Awuzie, CB
When Nolan quoted former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman recently about not being worried about cornerbacks that simply knock down balls instead of intercepting them, most seemed to view that to be a knock on impending free agent Byron Jones. After all, the former first-rounder has only recorded a lowly two picks in five years.
But fourth-year cornerback Chidobe Awuzie hasn’t posted many interceptions either, recording just three total picks in as many years. The 2017 second-rounder is scheduled to become a free agent in 2021, so he’s undoubtedly hoping to have a big season in Dallas. Yet, his opportunities may be limited if Nolan deems he’s not the ball-hawking corner he’s looking for.
Honorable mention: Chris Jones, Punter. Averaging 41.6 yards per punt in 2019, Jones was tied for last place among the 31 qualifying punters (must have at least 2.5 punts per team’s games played) according to ESPN.com. His 18 punts inside the 20-yard line ranked 30th.