When the Dallas Cowboys decided not to retain the coaching services of Ray Sherman, the organization brought in one of the best in the game. Jimmy Robinson was a successful wide receiver at Georgia Tech and played in the NFL, but his real niche came in the form of coaching. Robinson has coached wide receivers Andre Rison, Marvin Harrison, Ike Hilliard, Amani Toomer, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson. He has a Super Bowl ring and years of coaching experience.
Robinson came to Dallas in 2011 and he coached Laurent Robinson to a career year, then he followed that up with helping Dez Bryant put it all together on his way to a breakout season in 2012. Not only did Robinson help improve Bryant, he also had something to do with the success of Dwayne Harris last season.
Robinson decided to take a step back from the intense and demanding life of football, but he will stay with the team in a consultant role. With Robinson out of the picture as the wide receivers coach, Jason Garrett needed to find a new coach who could come in and continue to help mold his young receivers into good players.
Garrett decided to bring in former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley. Garrett and Dooley coached together when Nick Saban was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, so the two are close friends who share a common bond and have a passion for the game of football. Over the years, they talked football and brainstormed together, but now they have the opportunity to coach on the same team again.
Dooley may not have the lengthy experience that Robinson has, but Garrett assures us that his experience will help benefit the team.
"He’s coached receivers, he’s coached tight ends, he’s coached running backs, he’s coached special teams," Garrett explained, "and the depth of his knowledge about football is really significant. Also having been a head coach at the college level a couple of different places, the perspective that he brings I think is a really helpful one to me."
Dooley will need to develop a good relationship with Bryant. Garrett did acknowledge that Robinson and Bryant developed a strong bond and that helped Dez grow into a dangerous receiver.
"Jimmy has had a really positive impact on Dez," Garrett said. "It was a breakout year for Dez. He caught 92 balls for 1,300-plus yards and really played very, very good football. I think he matured a ton and there’s no question the environment he was in certainly helped him, and Jimmy was a big part of that."
One of the major questions heading into the offseason will be if Dooley can continue to take the wide receivers in the right direction, particularly Bryant and Harris. Dooley will also have a potential slot-receiver to coach up in Cole Beasley. Can Dooley not only continue the strong play of Bryant and Harris, but can he take Beasley and turn him into another weapon for the Cowboys' offense?
During his time at Tennessee, Dooley did have some successful players come out of his program. Under Dooley, Denarius Moore had his most productive season during his last year at Tennessee. He also coached Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson and Da'Rick Rogers. It may not be a popular draft strategy, but the durability concerns of Miles Austin could force the Cowboys to draft another wide receiver. If the war room allows a receiver to be drafted, then Jerry Jones could look at Dooley for some inside information on his former players from Tennessee. Either one of those wide receivers would add some serious firepower for the Cowboys' receiving core.
Jimmy Robinson will be missed, there's no doubt about that, but Dooley's recent track record does show that he can take talented wide receivers and help elevate their game. So BTB, will Dooley be successful in Dallas? Or will we miss Jimmy Robinson? Have at it in the comment section and tell us your opinion on the topic.