Speculation has been rife, to the point of near-certainty, that the Dallas Cowboys were losing special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia to join Jon Gruden with the Oakland Raiders. At Gruden’s introductory press conference with the Raiders on Tuesday, he made it official.
So, Jon Gruden confirms what we've assumed for a while, which is that he's hiring Rich Bisaccia to be his special teams coordinator. Cowboys have a few hires to make in the coming weeks. #cowboyswire— David Helman (@HelmanDC) January 9, 2018
While Rod Marinelli and especially Scott Linehan received a lot of criticism during the course of the disappointing 2017 season for Dallas, Bisaccia did not. And there was little reason. The special teams were generally excellent for the Cowboys all season, with the only real issue being the struggles Dan Bailey had towards the end, attributed to his groin injury.
The Cowboys were particularly effective in the punting game. They were tied for the lowest average yards given up on punt returns at 4.2, and were second in the league in punts downed or tackled inside the 20. That is largely due to the continued prowess of punter Chris Jones, but the coverage was also quite impressive. While the kickoff coverage was more in the middle of the pack, there were no touchdown returns allowed for any kickoffs or punts, and the Cowboys largely won the field position battle throughout the season when looking just at how returns affected it.
Bisaccia is going to be hard to replace for the Cowboys, and adds to the growing list of new coaches that the team must bring in to replenish the staff. We should all wish him well and be grateful for what he did during his tenure in Dallas. That doesn’t mean we have to like it.