With the hiring of Jason Garrett as the Dallas Cowboys new head coach, the speculation shifts to what will happen to the coaching staff. Will Garrett clean house or make just a few changes? The popular wisdom is that some changes will be coming, most likely on the defensive side of the staff. We try to catch up on the possibilities.
Offense: Ray Sherman Wide Receivers | Skip Peete Running Backs | John Garrett Tight Ends | Wade Wilson Quarterbacks | Hudson Houck Offensive Line | Wesley Phillips Offensive Assistant / Quality Control | Keith O'Quinn Offensive Assistant / Quality Control
On offense things could look pretty much the same. Jason Garrett has stated that he'll remain as the offensive coordinator and that he'll call the plays. Three offensive coaches have expiring contracts, Ray Sherman, John Garrett and Wade Wilson. Sherman interviewed for the head coach position (yes, only symbolically) but that would suggest he's coming back, and Wade Wilson is likely to return, too. John Garrett would seem like a lock to return, but could the Dolphins be looking at him as an offensive coordinator? They are expected to fire Dan Henning, the current OC, and Garrett's name has surfaced as a candidate.
Potential replacements for Henning include current assistants Hue Jackson (Raiders), Pete Carmichael Jr. (Saints), John Garrett (Cowboys) and Rob Chudzinski (Chargers), sources said.
Make the jump for the juice on the defensive side of the ball...
Defense: Paul Pasqualoni Defensive Coordinator | Reggie Herring Linebackers | Dave Campo Secondary | Brett Maxie Secondary / Safeties | Bobby King Assistant Linebackers / Defensive Quality Control
On defense is were it gets interesting. Will Paul Pasqualoni be retained as the defensive coordinator? The conventional wisdom is no, even though under his leadership the Cowboys defense improved slightly in points per game, and they also had an uptick in turnovers and they scored four touchdowns on defense.
Could Pasqualoni move on to other gigs, like the coach at the University of Connecticut? U Conn is looking for a new head coach, and one group thinks they should hire Pasqualoni. A group of high school coaches in Connecticut sent a letter to U Conn saying they should hire him. But the coach's name isn't on the list being bandied about in the press where Delaware's head coach K.C. Keeler is the current "front-runner' among the speculation.
If Pasqualoni was not the defensive coordinator, who might be? The early speculation centered on ex-Cowboys coach and current Dolphins assistant Todd Bowles. He interviewed for the head coach job, but everybody thought it was a possible defensive coordinator move the Cowboys were interested in. At that time, most people thought Tony Sparano would be let go by the Dolphins, thus freeing up his staff. That's not the case now, so that could potentially hurt the chances of grabbing Bowles. They could still try to get permission to re-interview Bowles for the defensive coordinator position.
Another candidate? ESPN Dallas thinks Todd Grantham, who just left the Cowboys last year to be the defensive coordinator at Georgia, could possibly be on the list. He had a good season on defense at Georgia.
On the field, Grantham improved the defense in 2010 from 2009. The Bulldogs finished second in the SEC and 18th nationally in turnover margin. Last season, Georgia was last in the conference and 118th nationally. Georgia's defense finished fourth overall in the conference and 23rd nationally. But last season it finished seventh in SEC and 38th nationally.
Then there's the potential raiding of our staff, mainly by Wade Phillips, new defensive coordinator in Houston. He's already asked to speak to linebackers coach Reggie Herring, a request the cowboys denied for now. But that could change once the Cowboys figure out what they want to do with their defensive staff. Also, Brett Maxie could be a target for Phillips, Maxie actually played for Phillips long ago in New Orleans.
Special Teams/Other: Joe DeCamillis Special Teams | Chris Boniol Kickers | Joe Juraszek Strength and Conditioning
Chris Boniol's contract is up, who knows if the Cowboys retain him. David Buehler wasn't exactly consistent on kicks this year. Obviously, Joe DeCamillis and Joe Jurazek are pretty safe bets to return.