Who are the NFL's 10 best coordinator/play-caller hires of 2014? - Don Banks, SI.com
Roughly half the league (15 teams) will have at least one new coordinator this year, and eight teams will have two new coordinators and/or play-callers. Banks ranks the best hires so far, and ranks the Marinelli/Linehan combo as the second and third best hires of 2014.
I consider Marinelli and Linehan to be clear-cut upgrades from Monte Kiffin, who was bumped up to more of an oversight role as assistant head coach/defense, and Bill Callahan, who will keep the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach title, but no longer call plays.
How much improvement can be expected from Cowboys' defense under Marinelli? | Brandon George, DMN
George writes that common sense alone dictates that any team should be better in the second season of a new scheme, and argues that Marinelli's track record in Chicago (where he was D-line coach in 2009 and elevated to DC in 2010) might just result in the miracle the Cowboys need on defense.
Cowboys preparing for no Tony Romo - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys worked out a QB who was released by the Eagles and couldn't hang around with the Patriots and even the Jaguars. Watkins sees it as a contingency move, in which the Cowboys would sign "somebody you need to throw passes in offseason workouts," in case Romo's recovery doesn't proceed as expected.
Look for the Cows to sign QB Mike Kafka on Fri, per source; they at least need a qb to get through the offseason program with Romo rehabbing— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) February 7, 2014
2014 Cowboys Draft Weekly Notebook - Bob Sturm
Sturm argues that the defensive collapse in 2013 was only partly caused by the injury situation, and that being undermanned at many positions in the new defense, even when fully healthy, was at least as big a culprit.
The result of trying to do something like that - changing your scheme, but not changing your personnel - was a defense that looked to be stretched too thin in September, beyond its limits in October, and utterly hopeless in November and December. If you want to call it just "bad luck" in the injury department, then you are taking away any culpability and responsibility from the front office and forgetting that many of us projected the defense would have an impossible time learning and executing what Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli had planned for them from the time this plan was announced.
More prime-time TV for Dallas Cowboys? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys had four Sunday night games last season. Could they get more prime-time games this year? Archer thinks the Cowboys could be in play for the Saturday double-header scheduled for Week 16.
Chris Boniol lands with Oakland Raiders | Brandon George, DMN
Good to see Boniol landing on his feet. Boniol is going to hold the same position with the Raiders as he held with the Cowboy last season.
Todd McShay, Mel Kiper Mock Drafts: Cowboys Playing It Safe - Blogging The Boys
Given the choice between safety and defensive line, where would you use the Cowboys first-round pick? McSay and Kiper both opt for a safety for the Cowboys.
Cowboys Work Out Former NFL QB Along With Two Receivers - Blogging The Boys
Dallas worked out Mike Kafka, a former fourth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010, and also worked out receivers Braylon Bell and Maurice Williams. Both receivers have spent time in the Arena League.