Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirmed that almost all the coaching positions for the 2015 season are now filled. Only two decisions remain to be made. The team has to hire an assistant offensive line coach to help Frank Pollack, who was promoted from assistant to the vacancy created when Bill Callahan left the team, and Jones has to determine what role, if any, former defensive coordinator and current assistant head coach for defense Monte Kiffin will have going forward. And the assistant offensive line coach job looks to be just a matter of time, with former right tackle Marc Colombo going to the Pro Bowl with the staff in what amounts to an extended job interview.
No hire has yet been made to fill the assistant offensive line position, but Jones said he's seriously considering Marc Colombo as a candidate for the vacancy. Colombo started at right tackle for the Cowboys from 2006-10, and he's been working in the team's personnel department for the better part of the last year.
Jones also said he would have discussions with Kiffin after the Pro Bowl, and indicated that the final decision would be made after the Super Bowl. Just reading between the lines, it appears that Kiffin wants to have some kind of job with the team without just being given a handout, and the two are trying to see what makes sense.
There was no discussion of what kinds of pay raises might have been given to most of the staff, or to the coaches whose contracts extended into 2015 or beyond (reported to be Rich Bisaccia, Matt Eberflus, Mike Pope, and Jerome Henderson), but some numbers were revealed for the offensive and defensive coordinators.
According to a source, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan received a three-year deal worth $2.1 million annually and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has a three-year deal worth $2 million on average. Add those to the $6 million per year Garrett received on his new five-year deal.
It can be inferred that there were likely some other raises handed out as well. For the NFL Executive of the Year, it is probably nice to not have a cap on coaching salaries. He can assemble exactly the group he and his head coach want with those deep pockets of his.
One other bit of related news emerged concerning just how far off some widespread speculation was.
Marinelli acknowledged his history with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith, with whom he worked with in two stops, including a four-year run with the Chicago Bears from 2009-12, but he said he never talked with Smith about a reunion.
Marinelli cited the Jones family, coach Jason Garrett and the players as the top reasons why he chose to remain in Dallas with a three-year deal.
"I just love it here," Marinelli said as he checked into his hotel at the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. "I love football and this place, it just reeks with tradition and winning and wanting to win, wanting to be the very, very best. I think that's as exciting as anything."
It shows that the logical argument put forth about how Marinelli might prefer America's Team was well founded.