The status of the Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett, was presented by those outside of the organization as being a real question mark after another 8-8 season with no playoffs - again. That was silenced very quickly as Jerry Jones is sticking with Garrett for 2014. Then the offensive and defensive coordinator positions became the topic. Would Monte Kiffin and Bill Callahan survive? Sources started with reports almost immediately that the Cowboys were looking for a way to move Monte Kiffin out and elevate Rod Marinelli to the defensive coordinator position.
Now, the big topic is whether Marinelli will even remain with the Cowboys. Once the Tampa Bay Bucs signed Lovie Smith as head coach, it was almost immediate that Marinelli's named was linked to the defensive coordinator position in Tampa. Most Cowboys fans know the story of Smith and Marinelli, their years in Chicago, how Marinelli decided to leave for Dallas once the Bears fired Smith.
There is one problem for a Marinelli/Smith reunion, Rod Marinelli is under contract to the Cowboys for one more year and they would have to release him to join Smith in Tampa. Now everything is in flux. Is Smith trying to get Marinelli to leave? Are the Cowboys trying to promote Marinelli to Kiffin's spot? How would Marinelli feel about that? Could Dallas work a compensation deal with the Bucs?
The Dallas Morning News describes the situation this morning pretty accurately. They also bring th ename of Leslie Frazier into the mix.
Smith wanting Marinelli to join him in Tampa Bay as his defensive coordinator makes sense. But it makes no sense for the Cowboys to let Marinelli go unless they are comfortable they have a strong candidate to replace him. This is where Leslie Frazier comes into the equation.
The former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings is also on Smith's short list. He will likely wind up with the Bucs as their defensive coordinator if Marinelli doesn't.
So what is the Cowboys play here? If they are convinced Frazier would be a good fit in Dallas, why not pursue him, let Marinelli go and see if a draft pick can be acquired in the process? But if you want to move forward with Marinelli, commit now and work out a graceful exit strategy for Kiffin.
Marinelli is still at Valley Ranch working as normal; Bryan Broaddus has been tracking him today and sharing his thoughts on Twitter.
So, BTBers, if you were in the position of the Jerry Jones, what would you do?
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