FRISCO, Texas – This could be a really good thing.
Or this could be a really bad thing.
New Voice vs. Continuity.
We’re talking the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff.
Sure, we’ve been hearing over and over again about the turnover on this roster, the loss of this veteran and that veteran, especially over the past two seasons, this team now so young you have to be careful about referring back to, oh, say the 2014 season. That’s four years ago.
Of the 90 guys currently on the roster, only 12 of those were with the Cowboys in 2014, giving an entirely new meaning to The Dirty Dozen. A bunch of the other 78 were no more than a freshman or sophomore in college. They probably have no idea about “catch-no catch” whatsoever in the playoffs that year.
But what about the turnover on Jason Garrett’s coaching staff?
Why, when there is this much change on a coaching staff there usually has been a change at the top. But there hasn’t been here. Garrett returns for his eighth full season as Cowboys head coach. Only Tom Landry has coached the Cowboys longer, 29 years. None of the other six head coaches have lasted more than five years, and only Jimmy Johnson did that.
So for a historical perspective, when Johnson took control in 1989, he brought with him seven new assistants on a staff of 10, including a new offensive coordinator (Dave Shula) and a new defensive coordinator (Dave Wannstedt).
This year the Cowboys will have seven new position coaches on a staff that over the past 30 seasons has expanded to 17, not counting the strength and conditioning coaching staff of four, with a new guy over there, too. Now, from an overall continuity standpoint, at least the coordinators remain the same, Scott Linehan on offense and Rod Marinelli on defense.
The assistants still in charge of a unit count five: Linehan, Marinelli (plus defensive line), Gary Brown (running backs), Greg Jackson (safeties), Leon Lett (defensive tackles) and … uh, that’s it. As for assistants to the assistants, add three more: Marc Colombo (offensive line), Stephen Brown (offense) and Kyle Valero (wide receivers).
Not a lot, right?
Either assistants let go or choosing not to re-sign number seven: Derek Dooley (wide receivers), Frank Pollack (offensive line), Steve Loney (tight ends), Wade Wilson (quarterbacks), Rich Bisaccia (special teams, assistant head coach), Joe Baker (secondary) and Matt Eberflus (linebackers/passing game coordinator.).
Totaling the combined years those guys had spent with the Cowboys comes to 45 seasons, although that number if quite inflated with Wilson having coached with the Cowboys for 14 years. Still, that’s a lot of continuity at their respective positions walking out the door.
Now the new guys onboard, including two assistants to assistants promoted to a head position coach, number 10, and names you’ve been hearing for the better part of a month as the Cowboys already have completed their rookie minicamp and their first six of nine OTA practices are: Paul Alexander (offensive line), Sanjay Lal (wide receivers), Doug Nussmeier (tight ends), Kellen Moore (quarterbacks), Ben Bloom (promoted to linebackers coach), Kris Richard (defensive backs/passing game coordinator), Keith O’Quinn (promoted to special teams coach) and Doug Coleman (assistant special teams coach). Plus, Markus Paul has been added to the strength and conditioning staff.
So as you can see, there…