What’s the holdup regarding the Cowboys defensive line hire?
By Angel Torres
New Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has the task of correcting whatever plague’s this defense. A mixture of sub-par talent and scheme is surely at the top of the list but before it can be fixed, coaches are needed to implement the scheme.
That is why I am a bit surprised that the team has not added a coach to start installing the basics of this new scheme and personalities. Cohesion amongst position groups is an underrated aspect of the game and a tight-knit group provides a support system when things aren’t going well.
The team has interviewed Aden Durde who was on the defensive staff last year with Quinn and Giff Smith (yes that is his real name) who most recently worked with the Chargers and helped Joey Bosa to collect the defensive rookie of the year award.
I am not aware of any other reported interviews so I assume the team is not looking past these two gentlemen. Durde, who has experience coaching linebackers could be brought in to be an assistant to current linebackers coach Scott McCurley.
Giff Smith could also be brought in as an assistant to Dan Quinn himself. If you are not aware, Quinn has defensive line in his DNA. Quinn not only coached the defensive line in his nine college seasons but he also has experience being a defensive coordinator and line coach at the same time.
His eight seasons as a defensive line coach in the NFL suggest that this could be a possibility moving forward.
Could the Dallas Cowboys be waiting to interview a coach still in the playoffs?
This was actually my first guess when I did not receive a notification that the Dallas Cowboys had finalized their coach. I took a quick look at who is available and the only name that stood out was Bills defensive line coach Eric Washington.
Washington was the Carolina Panther’s defensive coordinator where his defensive lines had some of the most productive lines in recent memory. The only issue with this is the fact that he is in his first year with the Bills and a lateral move will probably not be permitted.
Tampa Bay defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers is also an interesting possibility especially when you think of the barriers Tampa head coach Bruce Arians loves to destroy. He currently employs two women on his coaching staff and one is assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust.
If Arian’s decide’s to make her the first woman-led position group coach, Rodgers could be available. Rodgers is a native of Texas and would bring in an experienced coach who in his first two years with Tampa, his defensive line has posted the best run defense in the entire league.
Two years in a row of having the league’s best-run defense is certainly an eye-opening stat and one that the Dallas Cowboys could be carefully planning to acquire. I have been a proponent for bringing in qualified coaches above friendship and nepotism and this hire would qualify.
My best guess is that Dan Quinn will run both groups with the help of an assistant. It might not be the big name that everyone is trying to connect but whoever it is, the success of his line won’t be that difficult. The bar hasn’t been set that high so an improved defense would be a welcome sight.