The coaching carousel spins merrily along for the Dallas Cowboys, although at the moment the losses are more numerous than the additions. So far, only the hire of new offensive line coach Paul Alexander has brought a new face in. On the debit side, there have been persistent rumors that linebackers coach and passing game coordinator Matt Eberflus was going to be invited to join New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels wherever he landed as one of the most sought after head coaching candidates. Now, in wake of reports that a deal has been firmed up between McDaniels and the Indianapolis Colts, it looks like Eberflus is indeed going with him.
Eberflus has long been highly-regarded as a member of the Dallas coaching staff, and many were openly hopeful that he was the heir apparent to Rod Marinelli. However, with Marinelli now returning for at least one more season with the Cowboys, Eberflus appears to be cashing in on the bet he made on himself by not signing a reported extension with the Cowboys when it was offered.
Finding a replacement for him is likely the new highest priority for the staff now that they have replaced Frank Pollack as the offensive line coach. And in this case, there are no likely internal candidates of note to muddy the waters.
The linebackers job is very important in light of the impact of Sean Lee missing games last year, as well as the continued development of former second-round pick Jaylon Smith. It is seen as a position of some priority for the offseason, with Anthony Hitchens entering free agency and the team’s well-known parsimony in free agent contracts.
One of positive aspects of the Alexander hire was that it truly was a case of bringing in new (if rather long in the tooth) blood. Now the Cowboys have an opportunity to find more. It may be a young-and-coming coach, or an experienced veteran, but in any case, it will be a new voice. That was seen as a real need for a staff that looked stale and rigid in its decisions in 2017.
Eberflus is someone that many will not like to see leaving. But things change every year in the NFL, and while the Cowboys have maintained stability at the top, this is just another hole they must work to fill. While the reports are not fully confirmed, this is looking a lot like the Derek Dooley situation, where things played out just the way they were predicted.