Cowboys should be terrified of losing beloved assistant during coaching carousel

Aug 24, 2020; Frisco, TX, USA;  Dallas Cowboys player Trevon Diggs (right) talks with Al Harris
Aug 24, 2020; Frisco, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys player Trevon Diggs (right) talks with Al Harris / Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys' coaching staff could undergo serious turnover this offseason. Depending how they perform in the playoffs, we could be talking about the Cowboys needing a new head coach and defensive coordinator.

If Dallas is bounced early again -- before the NFC Championship Game -- owner Jerry Jones could send Mike McCarthy packing. That might come off as draconian given everything McCarthy has done over his three-plus years on the job, but it's possible he isn't the guy to take the Cowboys to the promised land.

Conversely, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn could seek greener pastures. Everyone was stunned Quinn returned to Dallas last offseason, as he interviewed for multiple head coach vacancies, including the Broncos and Colts.

The futures of McCarthy and Quinn will be a huge talking point after the season, but the Cowboys should be worried about other potential departures from their coaching staff as well. Namely, defensive backs coach Al Harris, whom former Packers teammate Will Blackmon coined the best DBs coach in the league.

Cowboys need to keep DBs coach Al Harris at all costs

On one hand, it's great to see Harris finally garner the recognition he deserves. On the other hand, other teams have likely taken notice of the marvelous job Harris has done with the Cowboys' secondary since he was hired as the defensive backs coach in 2020.

Prior to joining Dallas, Harris spent 11 years coaching at the collegiate and NFL levels, including spending 2013-18 as the Chiefs secondary coach. During that span, Kansas City finished in the top-10 in interceptions in five of Harris' six seasons. From there, Harris has worked wonders with the Cowboys' secondary.

Under Harris' watch, Trevon Diggs has ascended into a top-tier cornerback. Additionally, safeties Donovan Wilson and Jayron Kearse enjoyed career years in Harris' second season. Even Anthony Brown logged a career-high in tackles, pass breakups and interceptions that year.

Former All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman agrees wholeheartedly with Blackmon.

Last, but certainly not least, is DaRon Bland's development under Harris. Bland owns the NFL pick-six record after he notched his fifth of the season on Thanksgiving and leads the league in INTs this season and since he was drafted last year.

That's not a coincidence, and it stands to reason Harris will be a name to watch during this year's coaching carousel as one of the prime candidates for defensive coordinator vacancies. If not, he could leave for the same position if a team offers him more than what he's currently making in Dallas.

Translation? The Cowboys will need to pay up to keep him around.

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