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Cowboys reportedly offered Matt Eberflus the position of defensive coordinator

The one that got away.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Eberflus has been the talk of the town this week, what with him all but officially headed to the Indianapolis Colts to serve as their defensive coordinator.

He’s been one of the better, if not individually the best, coaches on the Cowboys coaching staff for some time, continually getting promoted to the point that his nameplate read linebackers coach and passing game coordinator.

Eberflus is one of the brightest young defensive minds in the game, so much so that the braintrust of the New England Patriots all seem to value it. One third of that Pats tripod, Josh McDaniels, is reportedly the one that will be cashing in on it in Indy.

A season ago the Cowboys offered Eberflus a contract extension, but he turned it down, choosing instead to bet on himself. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer they offered him something more sizable this offseason, a promotion to defensive coordinator.

According to sources, the Cowboys were willing to make Eberflus the coordinator and promote Marinelli to an assistant head coach role, but Eberflus did not want step on the toes of Marinelli, who helped teach him the finer points of the 4-3 scheme in 2014.

Rod Marinelli has reportedly been considering retirement this offseason, and considering he’ll turn 69 this offseason who can blame him? In a perfect Cowboys world Matt Eberflus would have simply waited patiently for the job to fully be his.

It’s a bit funny that the Cowboys wanted to have Marinelli be this elevated coach with a pseudo defensive coordinator of sorts. Why is it funny? This is the exact framework they put in place with Monte Kiffin as the elevated and Rod Marinelli the defensive coordinator working underneath him.

There are a lot of potential possibilities here. Perhaps it is in fact totally true that Eberflus simply has too much respect for Rod Marinelli and didn’t want to disrupt what was going on, but what else could it be?

Is it not possible that Matt Eberflus remembered how the Marinelli-Kiffin-combo worked and wants no part of that type of arrangement? Could it be that Matt Eberflus looks at new head coach in Indianapolis and figures, rightfully so, that there is seemingly more job security there?

Matt Eberflus could be the Cowboys defensive coordinator, and that’d be great for Cowboys fans, but what about Matt and his long-term status? Overall the Cowboys are going to go as far as Scott Linehan does in 2018, would you want to hitch your wagon to those odds?

Imagine if you were Matt Eberflus, you stayed in Dallas, you got promoted to defensive coordinator, you had to work with Marinelli as this watchdog over your shoulder, and a year from now the Cowboys, disappointed yet again, leading to the firing of Jason Garrett and the entire staff... which includes you.

You’d be looking for work yet again, and you’d likely have to take a step back professionally, perhaps to a position coach role again. It may very well be true that Matt simply respects Rod Marinelli, but it also makes business sense for him to get out of dodge now.

Which do you think it is, BTB? Why would Matt Eberflus leave if he could have been the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator?

Poll

Why did Matt Eberflus turn down the Dallas DC job?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    What he said, he respects Marinelli
    (502 votes)
  • 19%
    He likely didn’t want to work with Marinelli over him
    (520 votes)
  • 61%
    He’s leaving while he still can, ensuring his own safety
    (1635 votes)
2657 votes total Vote Now