Mizzou hires Derek Dooley as offensive coordinator - Dave Matter, St. Louis Post Dispatch
The Post Dispatch describes Dooley as a compelling, though unexpected hire.
Head-coaching experience? Check.
NFL experience? Check.
Nick Saban connections? Check.
Southeastern Conference experience? Check. Check. Check.
Still, at first blush, Dooley’s selection is surprising if for only one reason. Two actually. He’s never been an offensive coordinator and never coached quarterbacks as his primary assignment.
At Mizzou, Dooley, 49, will handle both roles and take over an offense that’s led the SEC in yards per game each of the last two years. The former head coach at Tennessee and Louisiana Tech spent the last five seasons as the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers coach.
Rod Marinelli might not return - Mac Engel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Just a week ago, Marinelli made it clear that he intends to coach for what would be his 45th season next year. And now we have this report suggesting Marinelli, 67, is apparently is mulling retirement.
The veteran defensive coordinator is mulling whether to return for the 2018 season, according to team sources. And if he does, 2018 will likely be it.
The Cowboys, and head coach Jason Garrett, are giving Marinelli as much time as he wants. Veteran coaches of Marinelli’s age routinely contemplate retirement once the off-season begins.
Marinelli will turn 68 in July, and physically the grind of the 2017 season took a hard toll on his body. He had hip replacement surgery in 2007, and often times walking appears to be none too easy.
Dallas Cowboys: Who's in, who's out with Cowboys assistant coaches? - David Moore, SportsDay
Moore with the latest update on what's going on with the coaching staff. An excerpt:
Sources said the Cowboys want to retain running backs coach Gary Brown and are working to make that happen.
Matt Eberflus, the team's passing game coordinator and linebackers coach, is another assistant whose contract has expired. There appears to be interest in him around the league, but sources said the Cowboys hope to keep him in the fold as well.
The status of offensive line coach Frank Pollack was unresolved as of Friday afternoon.
Michael Irvin: If the Cowboys make more coaching changes, here's what they need to focus on - Staff, SportsDay
Who would ever have thought Irvin would be the voice of reason? But here he is on ESPN San Antonio's The Blitz urging caution with the coaching changes.
What changes can be expected in the Cowboys' coaching staff?
Michael Irvin: We have to be careful, because I know people are talking about seeing all these coaching changes and everything. There are two things that we're dealing with right here. First of all, no matter what Dallas does, no matter what they do, whoever they want to bring in or add to this, do not get away from this system because now you've got two years invested in it, and the knowledge there of.
Now if you want to bring people in who can help extend it or can get you better in some areas, that's fine, but you have to stay at the base of this system, so we don't want to make all the data that Dak (Prescott) has now as no good data because it's all new stuff. We've got to be smart with that, and don't want to just get rid of people to want to get rid of them.
Report: Texans want to talk to Cowboys Will McClay about open position - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Vice president of personnel Will McClay’s name has surfaced as a possibility for the general manager job in Houston.
According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans are interested in Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas and Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay.
The other candidates so far include Bills vice president of player personnel Brian Gaine, Patriots vice president of player personnel Nick Caserio, Texans vice president of football operations/assistant general manager Jimmy Raye III and Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst.
Cowboys might pay Will McClay like a GM to prevent the Texans from poaching him - David Moore, SportsDay
Moore implies that the Cowboys aren't already paying McClay like a GM, which is a bit surprising. And disturbing.
No loss would hit the Cowboys harder than if it's unable to hold onto McClay. He's become an essential and valued voice. His ability to bridge the gap between the coaching staff and scouts to find a common language and then communicate that to the Jones family has led to his rise in the organization.
Sources are adamant the club will do all it can to retain him. While McClay will never obtain the title of general manager in the organization -- that belongs to the owner -- he executes many of those responsibilities. The Cowboys are willing to compensate him accordingly.
If the Texans do seek permission to speak to McClay -- count on that to happen -- the Cowboys could deny that request.
Why 'I don't see Will (McClay)' leaving Cowboys for Houston Texans - Jon Machots, SportsDay
Machota answered questions about the team during a live chat Friday, including this one about McClay.
Looks like Houston has its eyes on Will McClay. How real is the possibility he actually gets away this time?
Jon Machota: I don't see Will leaving. He has said for a while that his goal is to get Jerry Jones another Super Bowl ring. He doesn't have the GM tag, but he does have a lot of say in that room. I also think he genuinely enjoys working with the other members of the front office. I'm not saying he'll only work for the Cowboys for the rest of his career, but I think he'd prefer staying in Dallas right now. I believe helping the Cowboys win another Super Bowl would mean much more to him than winning one with any other team.
Trust me on this: Losing Will McClay would hurt the Cowboys tenfold compared with a handful of position coaches not returning. He’s a brilliant evaluator.— Jeff Sullivan (@SullyBaldHead) January 5, 2018
The quality of Cowboys coverage took a significant hit yesterday.
After 4 great seasons with the Dallas Morning News, today is my final day writing Cowboys content for them. I thank them very much for the ride!— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) January 5, 2018
Let's hope we can continue to read Sturm somewhere else soon.
Striking out on cheap free agents last season should put the Cowboys in a spending mood - Staff, SportsDay
Tim Cowlishaw talked about free agency in a recent live chat.
They went cheap again last year, something they had had some success with in the past (Mincey, McClain, others) and pretty much struck out. So, yes, that's on McClay and the rest of the scouts and coaches who signed off on these players. Cowboys are going to have to spend a little money in free agency this time around, can't rest on the laurels of a 9-7 season.
Mailbag: Upgrading The Talent On Defense? -Bryan Boaddus & David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus and Helman answer a reader question about defensive priorities in the draft.
Bryan: Just getting started on this upcoming NFL Draft but there are several defensive players they could go after. A lot of that depends on the position you want to address? Really like what I have seen from the defensive line at both tackle spots and corner. Need to do further work on these linebackers because that’s the area of most concern.
David: If it was up to me, my top priority would be making sure that DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving are on this team in 2018. Doing that helps secure your pass rush moving forward. I also think the Cowboys need to upgrade their talent at linebacker and safety. They are not going to be big spenders in free agency, I do not think, but those are goals they can accomplish in the draft.
Running backs, linebackers graded best during Cowboys’ 2017 campaign - Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Hill hands out his season grades, and likes what he saw from the linebackers and running backs.
Sean Lee is the undisputed leader of this group. He had more than 100 tackles for the third consecutive season. He gets the Cowboys lined up. But he has to stay on the field. The Cowboys went 1-4 in his absence in 2017, giving up 10 more points per game. Hitchens showed his worth when he was on the field. He will be an offseason free agent priority, but look for him seek big money. The biggest story was Smith in his return from a horrific knee injury. He was exposed with too many snaps, but was good in small doses.
When he was on the field, Elliott showed his worth. He rushed for 983 yards in 10 games after being suspended for six for personal conduct. He would have won the rushing title again if he had played all 16. The key for Elliott is staying out of trouble so he can play all the games in 2018. Morris did a nice job replacing Elliott in absence, rushing for 547 yards and averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He should find a job in free agency. Rod Smith, who averaged 4.2 yards per carry and scored 4 touchdowns, will be the primary backup in 2018.
Bill Belichick 'sees an opening' to coach Giants: source - Gary Myers, NY Daily News
Giants fans collectively started hyperventilating yesterday when speculation about Belichick possibly being interested in the head coaching job in New York emerged.
“I’m sure Bill knows this is his last chance to be the Giants coach,” a source close to Belichick said Friday. “Bill sees an opening — an opening to get to the Giants.”
The source also said he’s not certain if the reported friction and tension in New England will prompt Belichick to force his way out, but if he does, he said he is certain, “The Giants are the only place he wants to be.”
Here's an interesting look at how the NFL playoff odds developed on a week-by-week basis for each NFL team.