Fire Mike Nolan and hire a new defensive coordinator
After losing five of their first seven games, Cowboys fans are clearly out for blood. And much of their angst is directed at the defense and defensive coordinator, Mike Nolan. I’d like to submit Exhibit A …
While the team moving on from Everson Griffen, Dontari Poe, and Daryl Worley seems to indicate they believe the problem can be solved with roster changes, Nolan and his defensive staff’s inability to adjust and educate these players share the blame as well. And if the defense continues to trend south following these changes, I’m not sure how the coaches survive it.
There’s a need for a dramatic change to shake things up. And while McCarthy gets a pass for his first season going poorly, the historically bad performance by the Dallas defense should not. And while this is a unit that also struggled last season, things have only gotten worse under Nolan’s watch.
Adam Schein of NFL.com summed it up pretty well recently on the league’s official website.
"“Dallas has now given up 25-plus points — including 20-plus in the first half alone — in each of the past six games. Consistency! This sieve of a defense is the residue of horrendous design and coaching. Mike Nolan deserves a ton of heat. And so does Mike McCarthy for hitching his wagon to his former boss in San Francisco.”"
While parting ways with free agent mistakes signed over the offseason is a start, unless you plan to trade defensive stalwarts like defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence or linebacker Jaylon Smith, the only remaining solution is a new voice to coach them.
Simply shrugging your shoulders, believing you got dealt a bad hand, and blaming the players for not understanding your simplified defensive scheme doesn’t excuse the epic failure of a performance we’re seeing out of this unit. It’s inexcusable.
And it seems clear the players aren’t buying in, despite what the coaches or players might say publicly. Put all that talk on mute and just watch the games. It tells you everything you need to know about what’s happening and what’s not behind closed doors.
While there are some interesting names to consider as possible replacements at defensive coordinator like Dan Quinn, Wade Phillips, Marvin Lewis, and Kris Richard, the most obvious candidate to replace Nolan might already be in-house. That being Cowboys’ senior defensive assistant George Edwards, the former defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings from 2014-2019.
In the end, any talk of replacing the defensive coordinator in Big D may be frivolous as coming to the Dallas Cowboys midseason to take over one of the worst defenses in NFL history is not a very attractive job. The Cowboys may be forced to stick it out with Mike Nolan this season and hope the personnel changes they’ve made are enough to turn the tide.