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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Defensive Position Coaches On The Hot Seat?

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Latest Cowboys headlines: There's heat on the position coaches; Dez Bryant's new contract could be worth $12 million per year; Pass-heavy approach transforming NFL positions.

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There's heat on the position coaches - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Todd Archer opens his Twitter mailbag and answers questions on the Rolando McClain deal, the futures of Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, and the rebuilding defense. He also answers a question about why there were no consequences for the defensive coaching staff after last season:

The consequence comes if they don’t change things this year. If things stay the same, then they’ll be looking for work in 2015. Why not make wholesale changes this year? Good question, but I think the Cowboys believe Rod Marinelli will be a big change from Monte Kiffin. You can’t find anybody to say a bad word publicly about Kiffin, but there’s a reason why they demoted him. Marinelli will have to be the star of the show if things are better on defense.

But there’s heat on all the position coaches. Jerome Henderson was given a $50 million corner in Brandon Carr and the sixth pick in the draft in Morris Claiborne. Neither has lived up to expectations. Matt Eberflus has had to roll through a ton of linebackers, but has Bruce Carter developed? Marinelli did the best he could with an ever-changing line last year. And despite all the issues, the Cowboys were one win away from making the playoffs. That’s the Cowboys’ view of things. If it doesn’t change this year, then there will be a new staff in 2015, probably on both sides of the ball.

Position Battle: Top 3 CB Secure But Final Spots Interesting - Bryan Broaddus, DC.com
Carr, Scandrick, and Claiborne are roster locks and won't be challenged for their starting spots by other players. But the battle behind the top three could get interesting in camp. Broaddus offers his take on what the depth chart at corner could currently look like:

The way that Jerome Henderson and Joe Baker have been playing these corners in rotation has been Sterling Moore and BW Webb getting the work with the second defense with Tyler Patmon, Dashaun Phillips and now Terrance Mitchell getting some work with the twos but filling in with the threes. We have seen this play out before where Moore is getting solid work then for the final roster reduction, he is put on the street.

Former agent gives estimate of what Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant's new contract will look like | DMN
Former agent Joel Corry says Bryant could be earning an average of $12 million per year in his next deal, and cites the five-year, $60 million contract Mike Wallace signed with the Dolphins last year as a benchmark.

Cowboys add unorthodox equipment to help with stretching, reduce injuries | Brandon George, DMN
We've already heard about ballet bars, extra stretching, knee braces, compression tights, heat spray, and even GPS tracking equipment being used by the Cowboys in an attempt to reduce soft-tissue injuries. Brandon George adds more to the list:

Outside the team’s locker room at Valley Ranch, the Cowboys have added two ProFlex stretching machines, two other stretching machines designed for the core and lower body (above those are "stretch guides" on the wall), one World Cup skier’s plyometric apparatus and one Dynamic Edge skier’s machine.

The Cowboys also added a vibration machine in their weight room that helps players warm up their muscles, enhance flexibility and increase blood circulation to their body tissues.

Brad Sham: Given what I saw of Rolando McClain at 'Bama, he's certainly worth a look | Dallas Morning News
Brad Sham answered questions in a chat on Thursday. The DMN is conveniently splitting the chat into what appear to be multiple posts, so the danger of over-reading or a sudden reading attack are minimized. Here are Sham's thoughts on Rolando McClain's chances of playing for the Cowboys this year.

I think I'd be foolish to answer that not having seen him or talked to him. I do know this: I did a couple of Alabama games when they won that national title, and not only was he clearly the heart and soul of that defense and a ferocious player, by all accounts he was an amazing leader and teammate. His missteps since he's been in the league have been a big surprise, but it's worth a look. If he gives any indication in camp that he really wants to play, even if he's a 2 down player he might help. Doesn't cost much to have a look. And you can bet that Garrett has gotten with Saban and done his homework on the player and the person.

Randle Says He Might've Been Drafted Higher as CB | Scott Crisp, NBC 5 DFW
RB Joseph Randle played both ways in high school, playing running back and defensive back for the Wichita Southeast Golden Buffaloes in Wichita, Kansas. Randle said he might have been had he stuck with playing cornerback, but has no regrets.

"You are ripping it out of their chest," Randle said of running the ball, per CatchItKansas.com. "There is nothing better than just pounding the ball. That’s why I’m a running back. I could have went to college and played corner and probably been drafted in the first round. But I went and did it my way. That’s what it is all about, doing it your way, and I’m happy with the outcome that I got."

Caleb Hanie benefited from Kyle Orton's absence, too - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer reviews Hanie's status with the Cowboys. Hanie has had his moments in OTAs and at minicamp, but it's hard to imagine Hanie making the roster at this point.

The new game: Pass-heavy approach transforming NFL positions - NFL - Sporting News
David Steele takes a look at how the increased emphasis on passing is changing not just the game, but how individual positions are being played. And while this will draw nothing but derisive sneers from the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust crowd who saw their NFL socialization in the 1970s and earlier, even a player like LaDainian Tomlinson realizes this is not the NFL it was just ten years ago:

"If I was drafted now, I wouldn’t have carried the football the way I did,’’ said Tomlinson, who retired in 2011 after 11 seasons.

"But I probably would’ve been used more in the passing game. I can’t say I would’ve shared the duties with another running back. I would’ve had a place in the game—but I wouldn’t have 25 carries a game. Maybe 15 carries a game, eight balls thrown my way.’’