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Cowboys News: Coaching changes, rumors and general mayhem in Dallas

... and the NFL Hall of Fame considers Everson Walls

Everson Walls stands on the field Photo by Allen Dean Steele/Getty Images

Cowboys Coaching Carousel Update: Wilson Out, Bisaccia Too? - Mike Fisher, CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Fisher runs down all the action and rumors from Wednesday's coaching carousel.

Want evidence of Linehan shifting from the hot seat to the control room? Sources tell me he’s already working to examine ways to fill some of the six spots on the staff that are represented by coaches who are now without contracts — and that practice-squad QB Kellen Moore is among the names to watch.

Kyle Valero is another low-level staffer who has Linehan’s respect.

Cowboys begin making coaching staff changes - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer provides more insights into potential changes within the Cowboys' coaching staff.

The future of offensive line coach Frank Pollack is also in question, despite having three Pro Bowl players -- Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin -- in place since 2014. Pollack took over as line coach in 2015; during his tenure the Cowboys have finished ninth, second and second in the NFL in rushing.

Pass protection, however, was an issue in 2017, especially with Smith missing three full games and most of a fourth because of injuries. The Cowboys allowed 32 sacks; 22 came in the final eight games, including eight against Atlanta without Smith. Dak Prescott threw just one touchdown pass in the games in which Smith did not play.

Cowboys Part Ways With Three Assistant Coaches; More Moves Coming - J.J. Taylor, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Taylor summarized the coaching moves so far.

The Dallas Cowboys informed quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson and secondary coach Joe Baker, whose contracts expire at the end of this season, that they would not be returning next season, according to a source.

The Cowboys will let assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia out of his contract. He's expected to join Jon Gruden, whom he worked for as a member of Tampa Bay's staff when it won a Super Bowl in 2002.

Cowboys tight ends coach Steve Loney, who is 65, has informed the club he will retire, and receivers coach Derek Dooley is not expected to return.

A club source said the Cowboys are considering whether to retain offensive line coach Frank Pollack.

Examining Top 5 NFL Edge Defenders In 2017 - John Owning, Fanrag Sports Network
Owning's analytical posts are must-reads in my opinion. He ranked Demarcus Lawrence the third best edge rusher in this year's NFL.

Lining up primarily at left defensive end, Lawrence displayed exceptional hand usage and footwork to embarrass opposing linemen all year. Because he lacks elite athletic ability, Lawrence had to master his craft in order to be effective, which is exactly what he’s done.

Despite being just 25, Lawrence’s hand technique is as good as it gets in the NFL. Lawrence uses a wide variety of techniques to beat opposing tackles on his way to the quarterback. The Boise State product has always had a powerful arm-over move, but he has coupled it with lethal spin, quick swipe, and sensational cross-chop moves.

Jason Garrett is essentially the Marvin Lewis of the NFC, and that's not a compliment - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
Cowlishaw opines on Jerry Jones' decision to stick with top coaches after a disappointing finish to the 2017 season.

And maybe that's why Jerry Jones decided to stay the course with Jason Garrett after a 9-7 season concluded Sunday in Philadelphia. Another winning season for Garrett, yes. You can fool around with the numbers and arrive at the fact that Garrett has had one losing record in eight full or partial seasons here.

Or you can say that his teams have won one playoff game out of three and lost four elimination games in the next-to-last or final game of seasons.

Jones might be torn between the two halves of good Jason and bad Jason, but maybe he was just unimpressed with the field of available candidates. Only the Raiders are hiring a big name, and Gruden hasn't coached in nearly a decade. His last few seasons in Tampa Bay were something of a mess.

Is youthful Cowboys defense catching up to offense? - Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
Machota notes the Cowboys defense has made steady, persistent improvement since the historically inept 2013 season.

For the first time since 2009, the Cowboys finished in the top 10 in total defense, ranking eighth at 318.1 yards per game. It's been a steady climb since 2013 when they finished last in the NFL.

In 2014, they traded up in the second round to draft defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. His emergence this past season is the biggest reason for optimism. Lawrence finished with a career-high 14.5 sacks, which tied him for second in the NFL. And no player came close to his 160 sack yards.

In Lawrence's estimation, the group has only shown "glimpses." He envisions a unit that can be "great."

To continue toward that goal, the Cowboys must bring back their Pro Bowl pass rusher. Lawrence, 25, is set to become an unrestricted free agent. He expects the team to use the franchise tag on him if the two sides are unable to work out a long-term deal.

Despite 7 Sacks, David Irving Wonders What Could Have Been In A Full Season - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys

Phillips discusses Irving’s promising yet disappointing season.

Between a four game suspension to start the season and his concussion problems ending it, 2017 was a rough year for David Irving. But in his short time on the field, he managed seven sacks. And he wants to come back to the Cowboys for more.

“I want to be here. I wish to retire here,” Irving said. “I hope I’m here. I feel like this is home. I have family here. It’s out of my control, so we’ll see what happens.”

Overlooked For So Long, Everson Walls Excited About Being HOF Finalist - Nick Eatman, Dallas Cowboys
Eatman talks about Walls' reaction to being named an NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist.

After his playing career, Walls gained even more respect on a national level in 2007 when he donated his kidney to former teammate Ron Springs, who eventually passed away four years later.

While Walls says he doesn’t concern himself much with being inducted into Canton, he is disappointed his name is currently not in the Ring of Honor at AT&T Stadium.

“That bothers me. Yes, it bothers me,” Walls said. “I’ve always thought if you’re going to be honored on a national level such as the Hall of Fame, then you have to be shown love on the local level initially. That’s just my thought process.”

But he also pointed out that other players have been inducted into the Hall before making it into the Ring. As he stands, just one level away from being inducted into the Hall, Walls is hoping to eventually make it into both.

“I’m excited to get (the recognition), but I’m confident in what I’ve done in my career,” Walls said. “To say I beat the odds is a total understatement.”

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