5 case studies that give the Dallas Cowboys defense hope

Atlanta Falcons head coach, Dan Quinn Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons head coach, Dan Quinn Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Chargers, defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Gus Bradley

Gus Bradley was the previous defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks during which time he was credited for developing the majority of the Legion of Boom defense. Coincidentally, Dan Quinn won a Super Bowl ring with Seattle the year after Bradley left.

It wasn’t due to inefficiency as Bradley’s defense was one of the top units in the league. Bradley left for the opportunity to become a head coach in the NFL. The Jacksonville Jaguars came knocking and Bradley answered the call.

You cannot fault a person for wanting to become a head coach but Bradley was in way over his head. In four-season in Jacksonville, Bradley never won more than five games in a single season and was replaced by recently fired head coach Doug Marrone.

Marrone, who has a background on offense, led the team to a 10-6 record right out of the gate and lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Marrone’s coaching tenure fizzled just as quickly as it started but the immediate impact initially looked like it was the right move.

Bradley was then hired the following season by the Los Angeles Chargers who ranked 16th on total defense and jumped a spot up to 15th in his first year. Bradley’s next two years he helped the team achieve the 9th ranked defense in 2018 and then the unit hit its peak in 2019 by achieving the sixth overall spot. Last year the team dipped to tenth overall on total defense.

The team not bringing him back has more to do with what new Chargers head coach Brandon Staley wants to accomplish on defense rather than the job Bradley did with this team which was phenomenal. It is especially impressive when you see how many injuries the defense dealt with this past season.

Bradley was just hired as the Raiders defensive coordinator around the same time Dan Quinn joined the Dallas Cowboys. I expect the Raider’s defense, who were one of 11 teams to give up over 2,000 rushing yards on the ground this past season, to have a significant defensive improvement.