Cowboys score biggest win of free agency with coaching staff shake-up

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys had zero intention of being players in the first wave of free agency. While fellow NFC contenders like the Eagles, Lions and 49ers all spruced up their respective rosters, the Cowboys suffered more departures than they made additions.

In fairness, signing linebacker Eric Kendricks fills a huge need and re-signing Jourdan Lewis allows Dallas to keep continuity in the secondary. It'd be draconian to say free agency is a failure, but that hinges on what the front office accomplishes in the second and third waves of the frenzy.

Right now, though, it's not trending promisingly. That's unfortunate for Mike McCarthy on multiple levels. Chief among them is the fact McCarthy was brought back in a lame-duck year while Dallas does nothing to help him in free agency as all of their rivals load up.

While the Cowboys continue to do McCarthy wrong, the head coach has done right by one of the team's rising assistant coaches. Multiple reports have confirmed defensive backs coach Al Harris has been promoted to the tune of adding Assistant Head Coach to his current title.

Cowboys promoting Al Harris is team's biggest win of free agency

With all due respect to the Kendricks signing and re-upping Lewis, promoting Harris is the Cowboys' biggest win of free agency thus far. Rewarding Harris for the exemplary work he's done with Dallas' defensive backs was a must. The team blocked him from interviewing for a position on Dan Quinn's staff in Washington, which spoke to the high regard they hold Harris in.

This obviously doesn't lay the groundwork for Harris to succeed McCarthy as head coach. It is, however, noteworthy given McCarthy is entering a lame-duck year. Furthermore, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is only signed through 2024 and most of the coaching staff is on one-year contracts or entering the final year of their respective deals.

Promoting Harris to assistant head coach could hint at Harris potentially succeeding Zimmer as defensive coordinator. While Harris has never called a defense, he interviewed for the DC position afterQuinn left for the Commanders. Entrusting Harris with a greater responsibility could be the Cowboys' way of grooming him for the role of DC or another prominent gig.

This is all conjecture, but the chief takeaway is that this bodes extremely well for Harris' future in Dallas regardless of whether McCarthy is gone after 2024.

Former draft picks like Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland have developed into All-Pros under Harris' tutelage, while the likes of Donovan Wilson and Malik Hooker have experienced linear progression since Harris was hired in 2020.

Promoting Harris was an easy call, but the Cowboys deserve credit for getting it done. It's clear the organization sees a bright future for the 49-year-old.

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