FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday that “we’ll have quite a bit of change’’ on the coaching staff.
But, I’m sorry to report, for those of who anticipating a bloodbath … the “change’’ won’t be in the form or fashion of the many rumors or the many desires.
The very latest on the Cowboys Coaching Carousel:
*Head coach Jason Garrett remains in place. No one who reported rumors to the contrary was getting their info from here inside The Star.
Firing Garrett is “not even a thought for me,’’ Jones told our “Shan & RJ.’’ “I like the fact that we’ve invested several years of Jason evolving in this profession.
Want evidence of Garrett’s security? He’s spent part of the last few days not only conducting “Exit Interviews’’ with all players, but also, I’m told, conducting private one-on-one sessions with team leaders to explore ways to improve the program from within — play-calling included.
*The plan is for offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli (who along with special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia signed extensions a year ago) to remain. Now, on the morning of the Week 17 game in Philly, the internet told us that Linehan was getting fired (along with Garrett), and that Jerry planned to hire Jon Gruden, Bruce Arians, Todd Haley and Tony Romo.
None of that is the plan.
“I have 120 percent belief in him, 200 percent belief in him,” QB Dak Prescott said of Linehan. “He (deserves) a lot of credit for my success in this league, everything that I’ve done, teaching the game, breaking the game down. I’m not into all the speculation and things like that. I hope he’s here. I hope we figure it out. He means a lot to me.”
Want evidence of Linehan shifting from the hot seat to the control room? Sources tell me he’s already working to examine ways to fill some of the six spots on the staff that are represented by coaches who are now without contracts — and that practice-squad QB Kellen Moore is among the names to watch.
Kyle Valero is another low-level staffer who has Linehan’s respect.
*I reported over the weekend that if Jon Gruden takes the Raiders job it could have a trickle-down impact on the Dallas staff. Rich Bisaccia used to work for Gruden in Tampa Bay, where they won a Super Bowl.
*I’ve reported that wide receivers coach Derek Dooley — very much liked in by his position group but without a contract going forward — has one foot out the door. Reports to the contrary insist that the Cowboys haven’t made that decision. Which is true.
Because Dooley, who I’m told wants to be a college offensive coordinator, is making the decision for himself.
*Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson is without a contract and I’m told is considering a return … or a retirement. Tight ends coach Steve Loney could also be a retirement candidate. Marinelli is on-record as saying he does not wish to retire.
*Running backs coach Gary Brown has an expiring contract, as does secondary coach Joe Baker. They’re being evaluated as you read this. The Cowboys may need to determine whether is was Baker or Greg Jackson who was instrumental to teaching the young secondary so quickly. They’ll also want to ask if Frank Pollack’s O-line underperformed.
*Linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, Marinelli’s right-hand man on defense, purposely passed on signing a contract extension a year ago, in part because he believes he’s on track for defensive coordinator interviews around the NFL. Most of the people here in the building believe Eberflus is part of the solution, not part of the problem.
*Scouting guru Will McClay is a hot name every offseason, and every offseason he opts to keep his ties (and his authority and salary) with the Joneses rather than accepting a fancy title elsewhere. The Cowboys would love for this to be the status quo for the talented McClay, a powerful “unifier’’ in the building.