Dallas Cowboys: 3 out of the box defensive coordinator candidates

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin Badgers
Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin Badgers (Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY NETWORK) /

DC – Jim Leonhard

If this name sounds familiar it’s because Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard played ten years in the NFL. This former defensive back is best described as former Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath. By that I mean he was a high character, highly intelligent player who played with everything he had to overcome his physical limitations.

Leonhard’s a coaching infant at 38 years of age but his defense has the same type of gritty mentality a defense needs with not a lot of NFL prospects on their roster. This could play into the hands of the Dallas Cowboys perfectly.

If you haven’t noticed lately, the Dallas Cowboys front office loves the make a splash, and their recent drafting history certainly proves they have done a masterful job when it comes to first-rounders.

The team hasn’t had as much luck or enthusiasm when it comes to defensive players selected first overall with this team. I still remember the “hands-on your head ” moment some fans had when the team selected Boise State linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch. The trust this front office has had with its fans regarding defenders is “complicated” to say the least.

This is where Leonhard comes to play. Wisconsin is no stranger to being atop the most significant defensive statistics for the past four years and the one constant in that equation is defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard.

The best piece to that puzzle is Wisconsin rarely gets the type of talent rivals Ohio State and Michigan receive yet the defense has performed just as well or better than the collection of superior gifted athletes their rivals possess. Getting more out of less consistently is music to my ears.

If you have a moment, take a look at what current and former players have to say about this rising coaching star. Lastly, Wisconsin has had a top-five defense in two of Leonhard’s last four years and they are currently ranked first this year in total defense.