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Coaching changes

IRVING, Texas - The regular season has been over for more than two weeks now.

Since the end of the Cowboys’ rather familiar 8-8 finish, only a couple of changes have occurred on the coaching staff. One of which was the announcement Chris Boniol won’t be renewed as the kicking coach as the two sides have decided to mutually part ways.

The other was even more under the radar as coaching assistant Mikal Smith, who was the team for only one season, left to join his father Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay.

So that’s the only things going on with the coaching staff … for now.

If there will be any changes, they could occur this week, however. The Cowboys will be sending coaches, scouts and front-office personnel to Mobile, Ala. this weekend for the Senior Bowl practices next week. Typically, the Senior Bowl is the cutoff to make decisions on coaches and whether or not they’ll be returning. It doesn’t mean all positions will be filled, but if a coach is sent to Mobile, usually it means he will return for the next season.

Should be an interesting week

Everybody has their own opinion on the coaches, but I say ride with them another season. headbang

Dallas Cowboys offensive assistant coach Dave Borgonzi has been hired as Tampa Bay’s defensive quality control coach, the Buccaneers announced Thursday.

Borgonzi had been on the Cowboys’ coaching staff the last two seasons, primarily assisting with the weekly breakdowns and scouting reports of each Cowboys’ opponent and helping with the scout teams during daily practices.

Borgonzi is the second Cowboys assistant coach to leave this off-season. Assistant special teams coach Chris Boniol also won’t return. And, Cowboys tight ends coach Wes Phillips is interviewing for the same job with the Washington Redskins, according to a source. The one-year contracts of Boniol and Phillips had expired.

Rich Bisaccia will be interviewed for HC job with the Browns

Phillips hired by Redskins, we are losing people without JJ firing them lol.

Damn if we are so bad why is everybody after our coaching staff?
El Kabong

MOBILE, Ala. -- On Tuesday afternoon, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the return of offensive coordinator Bill Callahan and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was good for the continuity of the coaching staff.

There could be some changes forthcoming, however.

Team owner Jerry Jones and Garrett have each said the coordinators are under contract and that a return for 2014 is welcomed.

But could Kiffin move into a different role?

Maybe Kiffin remains on the staff as a consultant and Rod Marinelli takes over the defense?

Will Callahan maintain the offensive coordinator role, but could someone else take over the play-calling duty?
"Those guys are under contract and we’re always trying to figure out ways to do things better, and that starts with us as a coaching staff and we’ll keep looking into what everyone's roles are and how everything settles down," Garrett said from Day 2 of the Senior Bowl practices. "We do have some coaches who are out of contract and we’re trying to get those things settled and were in the process of those conversations right now."

Garrett said he would like to fill the vacant tight ends position and he's looking at Mike Pope, the former tight ends coach for the New York Giants, who was let go last week. Garrett called Pope a friend and hopes to get a hire for that position soon.

Yet, with the coordinators returning, at least right now, roles could change.

Last year, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson moved from the sidelines to the press box to help Callahan read defenses. There wasn't much change within the defensive staff.

"We feel good about that," Garrett said of Kiffin and Callahan's return. "We're always going to try and do things in the best interest of our football team. We’ll keep looking at how we can be better as a staff and what roles everybody's in and what we’re asking them to do. But those guys are really good football coaches."

Just read on ( that the Cowboys have hired Linehan to be the playcaller, but Callahan is still being retained. Seems odd to keep Callahan, I don't think I have ever heard of having an offensive coordinator who wasn't the play caller. Hopefully we can expect a more balanced attack with Linehan calling the plays.

Nick Eatman Staff Writer
Follow nickeatman on Twitter All Nick Eatman Articles

IRVING, Texas – So the Cowboys will make major staff changes after all, especially on defense.

Through a press release sent Tuesday evening, the Cowboys announced several coaching moves, including the switch at defensive coordinator. Rod Marinelli, who served as defensive line coach, will replace Monte Kiffin as the DC. Kiffin has been moved to the assistant head coach/defense. The Cowboys finished with the worst statistical season in franchise history, allowing 415.3 yards per game, the fourth-worst season total in NFL history.

Marinelli served as defensive coordinator in Chicago under Lovie Smith for three seasons. The Bears ranked ninth, 17th and fifth in total defense during his three years.

“Rod’s responsibilities will be those typical for a defensive coordinator,” Garrett said Tuesday evening. “He’ll be the point person on defense all throughout the offseason and game-planning and certainly on game plan when he calls the defense.”

While Kiffin’s role has changed, Garrett said the veteran coach will take on a larger role as the assistant head coach and remains a big part of the team’s transition in defenses.

“Kiff has been such an instrumental piece for us transitioning from the 3-4 to the 4-3 defense,” Garrett said. “No better guy than Monte Kiffin to help us do that and spearhead that transition. And that transition continues. He’ll oversee the coaches coach and providing a different perspective than he had last year. He has invaluable experience as our defense continues to grow.”

As for the offense, the Cowboys officially hired Scott Linehan as the team’s passing game coordinator. Linehan, who coached one season with Garrett in Miami in 2005, will be the third play-caller in three seasons, replacing Bill Callahan in that capacity.

However, Callahan will remain as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach. Callahan reportedly has received offers from Baltimore to become the OC and perhaps Cleveland, although the Cowboys decided not to grant those teams permission to interview Callahan, who is under contract another season.

“We’re excited about Scott Linehan,” Garrett said. “He’s one of the best coordinators in this league and has been for a number of years. I had the good fortune of working with him in 2005 in Miami. He was our coordinator and I was the quarterback coach. I worked very closely with him and have a great deal of respect for him. His track record speaks for itself. We think he’s a great addition to our staff.”

The Cowboys are no strangers to having a passing game coordinator. In fact, Garrett said he sees this current setup as very similar to what was in place two seasons ago when Garrett called the plays and Callahan remained the OC and coached the line. Now, Linehan will be the play-caller but will work alongside

“The roles and responsibilities will be similar to what we had a couple of years ago with Scott being in the role I was in,” Garrett explained. “As passing game coordinator, he will call the plays and work closely with Bill Callahan and the rest of the offensive staff in a role we’re comfortable with. He has a comfort level with our system and the language and terminology of our system. That transition we think will be fairly smooth. The perspective and ideas he brings, we think will be a positive thing for our team.”

While in Detroit, Linehan directed an offensive unit that finished the past three seasons ranked sixth, third and fifth respectively in the NFL in total offense. The Lions ranked 17th in rushing as Reggie Bush had 1,006 rushing yards.

Linehan also served as head coach of the Rams from 2006-08, making him the third assistant with NFL head coaching experience along with Marinelli and Callahan.

While there is a natural perception that both Callahan and Kiffin have been demoted, yet remain on staff, Garrett said it will be his responsibility to make sure every coach is on the same page and has the same goal.

“Embracing your role is a critical piece to this,” Garrett said. ”As coaches and players, we do that all the time. We’re excited to get going and build on positive things we’ve done. You’re always trying to build chemistry on your football team. Every day is an opportunity to do that.”

In other staff news, Garrett said Marinelli is expected to oversee the defensive line but Leon Lett and Ben Bloom will also work closely with that position.
El Kabong

Cowboys continue minor tweaks to coaching staff
Posted by Darin Gantt on February 13, 2014, 2:45 PM EST
Saints Cowboys FootballAPThe Cowboys never made the wholesale coaching changes many expected this offseason, but theycontinue to tweak the staff.

According to Todd Archer of, the Cowboys named Keith O’Quinn assistant special teams coach and Kyle Valero offensive assistant.

O’Quinn had been an offensive quality control coach and assistant receivers coach, and had previously worked in pro personnel with the Browns. He replaces Chris Boniol, who left for the same job in Oakland.

Valero worked with new passing game coordinator Scott Linehan in Detroit

I don't get the Linehan hiring to call plays, when Romo has the power to change them at anytime.
El Kabong

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Posted: 2/20/2014 10:45 AM

Stephen on Callahan


Stephen Jones on why Dallas Cowboys retained Bill Callahan: ‘Everybody thinks the world of Bill’
By Rainer Sabin
10:13 am on February 19, 2014 | Permalink


Dallas offensive coordinator Bill Callahan is pictured before the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Sunday, September 15, 2013. (Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News) / mug - mugshot - headshot - portrait / 09202013xSPORTS

INDIANAPOLIS — When it was announced that Scott Linehan would be the new offensive play-caller last month, many wondered how Bill Callahan would take the news.

After all, this past season Callahan had handled the role Linehan would now assume. Outsiders saw the move as a demotion, and some wondered why the Cowboys were reluctant to allow Callahan to pursue other opportunities. Requests made by Baltimore and Cleveland to interview Callahan were denied.

“Everybody thinks the world of Bill,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “It’s an unfortunate situation that he gets caught up in the, well, he got something taken away from him or whatever it’s going to be portrayed as. But Bill Callahan is an unbelievable football coach. We just weren’t going to give him up and Jerry [Jones] and I have a great relationship and the coaches have a great relationship with him.

“Everybody wants to go sometimes try to do what they were doing or whatever. But when we signed him contracts are two-way streets. They are not just for us to deal with if it doesn’t work out. And Bill is a professional;. Are you kidding me? He is working his butt off. Was he disappointed? Everybody has disappointments. I have had it. I’m sure you have had disappointments. Everybody has them.”

Jones views Callahan as an asset who helped transform the offensive line — the position group he oversees — from a weakness into a strength.

“That offensive line really shaped up and came our way,” he said.

Jones now feels similarly about the staff head coach Jason Garrett has assembled, which now features three men — Garrett, Linehan and Callahan — who have been play-callers in the NFL.

“As I think Jason used the words, I think you have to make sure everybody is in the right seat on the bus to really make the team hum,” Jones said. “I think that’s what we ended up doing. I think we got everyone in the right seat. And obviously added a big one in Linehan. But I really think we have given ourselves, with our staff, a great opportunity to improve

Posted: Today 12:42 PM

Marinelli excited, also like some injured guys


Marinelli Excited For New Role, Focus On Front Seven
Posted 1 hour ago

Rowan Kavner Staff Writer
Follow Rowan Kavner on Twitter

INDIANAPOLIS – Rod Marinelli finds himself back in a similar spot, just with a different team.

The former Cowboys defensive line coach is now also the defensive coordinator. It’s a change he’s both familiar with and excited about, going back to the role same role he had in his previous stop in Chicago.

“I’m really looking forward to it, but it’s all football,” Marinelli said. “I’m excited about the whole thing.”

The promotion for Marinelli, who’s now in charge of the whole defense, likely means an increased role for assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett. Marinelli said he feels like Lett has grown tremendously in their year together, and he believes both Lett and Ben Bloom’s help on the line will alleviate his workload.

He also said a year under his belt in Dallas will help “big time” as he prepares for his new role.

“You’ve kind of got things in place, I think, for the most part,” Marinelli said. “Now you’ve just got to make corrections and add some people and kind of go from there.”

The first place he said he’ll look for help is on the front seven. Given that the Cowboys probably won’t have much room to add key pieces via free agency given their cap situation, it’s likely Marinelli will look to the draft to try to get that done.

“We’ve always got to look at the front seven, that kind of drives the whole thing for us,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to add some pieces. I like some of the guys still that were injured last year, (Tyrone) Crawford, Ben Bass, some of these other guys.”

Crawford figured to be a key piece in the defensive line rotation last year, but he ended up being the first casualty of camp and the first in a snowball effect of defensive linemen going down the rest of the year.

Marinelli said he has to see how Crawford moves coming off his injury before deciding what position the defensive lineman will play, but he still thinks Crawford has the ability to move inside or outside. It wasn’t long after Crawford’s injury that the Cowboys found out they’d lose both Anthony Spencer and Jay Ratliff the rest of the year, forcing them to cycle new linemen on and off the team.

The new defensive coordinator said he tries to look at the positive of every situation, even when it’s not always apparent.

“You have a chance to maybe really become a better teacher through the season,” Marinelli said. “It forces you to really be on the details every week, because you miss things. It’s easy to miss something when you get a guy in on Tuesday and you’ve got to get him ready for Sunday, how to condense your menu, all those things. I kind of looked at that as a positive, and I think we found a couple guys that might be able to help us continually, like (George) Selvie and Nick (Hayden) and some of those guys.”

While his focus was on the defensive line, Marinelli still had a chance to speak to and coach other players throughout the season. He said he loves talking to and teaching players, regardless of position, which should help him as he prepares for his more expansive role.

But Marinelli said Monte Kiffin will still be around, helping every step of the way.

“He’ll be in there every day with us, film, working, drills, all of those things,” Marinelli said. “He’s a tremendous resource and a great coach. I’ve got great respect for him.”

It’s important to Marinelli that he’s as detailed and exact as possible in what he’s teaching over and over again to ensure his players know what he demands. When he looks back to last year’s struggles, he said it’s all about the coach and player relationship and execution, and that everyone’s involved in the team’s success, or lack thereof.

He said another year with the roster and adding more pieces will help the defense. The Cowboys likely won’t be major players in free agency this year, but Marinelli still believes management will bring in enough pieces. He said he’s not concerned with the cap, and he’s more concerned with improving whatever he’s got.

“With me, it all goes back to fundamentals,” he said. “That’s kind of always been my base, and just getting guys to do things right and coaches got to work extremely hard. You’ve got to get more takeaways, those types of things.

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