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Cowboys news: Mike McCarthy and Sean Lee have talked about coaching in Lee’s future

Here’s what you missed from Tuesday.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Cowboys McCarthy - Who Might Need A Coordinator - Urges Sean Lee Into Coaching - Mike Fisher, Cowboy Maven

The recent buzz around the Cowboys has centered on defensive coordinator Mike Nolan potentially being replaced after the season. So when Mike McCarthy encouraged Sean Lee to go into coaching whenever he retires, many fans immediately sought to anoint Lee as said replacement for Nolan.

My list also includes a guy McCarthy talked with us (on his media conference call) on Monday: Sean Lee. No, McCarthy is surely not envisioning the linebacker make the leap all the way to the top of his staff. (See my notes below). But there is this: “If you’re dumb enough to get into coaching,’’ McCarthy told Lee, “we should definitely talk.’’

I’m a fan of Lee but not a fan of a player going straight from being “in pads’’ to “in charge.’’ Lee, should he opt for retirement anytime soon, would be wise to serve an apprenticeship before taking on a title. I do hope that apprenticeship happens here at The Star. It seems McCarthy does as well.

“We talk about a lot of things,’’ McCarthy said of him and Lee. “He’d be a great coach.”

Feldman: Boise State needs a head football coach. Who are the likely candidates? - Bruce Feldman, The Athletic

Late on Tuesday night, Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin departed for the Auburn head coaching vacancy. That led to Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore quickly popping up as a favorite to land the job at his alma mater.

Bryan Harsin’s frustrations with the Mountain West and Group of 5 life became public earlier this month, and now he’s jumping into the teeth of powerhouse football in the SEC West with his move to Auburn. He leaves behind one of the best G5 head coaching jobs in the FBS.

Everyone has won at Boise State in the past 25 years, piling up staggering win totals. Harsin’s .793 winning percentage is actually the worst of the past three head coaches who have coached the Broncos in the past 20 years. And there are a bunch of former Broncos who would make some sense as the next man up.

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, the greatest player in Broncos history as a record-setting QB under Petersen, has risen fast in the NFL coaching ranks. If the 32-year-old Washington native wants the job, it would be hard to imagine they’d turn him down. Moore is a legend in Boise. He holds the all-time FBS record for wins by a starting quarterback, going 50-3, and he finished No. 4 in the Heisman voting in 2010.

NFL schedule change: Week 16 Panthers-Washington moved to same late afternoon kickoff time as Eagles-Cowboys - Jeff Kerr, CBS Sports

The Cowboys need to win this week and see the Washington Football Team lose in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. With Washington playing their game earlier on Sunday, it was possible that they could be eliminated before even taking the field, but not anymore after a schedule change by the NFL.

The Washington Football Team can eliminate the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys from the NFC East race with a victory Sunday. The NFL won’t take the chance that the Eagles-Cowboys game — which had a later start time — won’t have any meaning in a national window.

The NFL announced the Week 16 game between Washington and the Carolina Panthers has been moved to a 4:05 p.m. ET start time and will still air on CBS. The game was originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, but a Washington victory would eliminate the Eagles and Cowboys from the postseason (Eagles-Cowboys is scheduled to kick off at 4:25 ET on Fox).

With Washington playing simultaneously as the Eagles and Cowboys, the showdown between the two NFC East rivals obviously has meaning. The winner of Eagles-Cowboys will still be alive in the division race — if Washington loses — while the loser will officially be eliminated from the playoffs.

Cowboys’ defense hopeful trend of creating turnovers can continue - David Moore, Dallas Morning News

The Dallas defense has been ridiculed all year long, but they’ve been on a hot streak as of late with regards to generating takeaways. Embattled defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who has stressed the importance of takeaways since arriving in Dallas, hopes to keep it up.

“When you’re in the dry spell, you feel like it will never come,” defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said. “But I think as we’ve said all along we’re just in the process of trying to become some things that we weren’t in the past, one of them to be a team that gets some turnovers.

“But you can’t just talk about it. You have to work on it, and it doesn’t just change overnight — evident by this.”

Five of the seven turnovers these past two games have been fumbles. All of those fumbles have been forced in the first half to set the tone and stake the Cowboys to an early lead in both games. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has forced two of the fumbles. Defensive end Aldon Smith has recovered two fumbles, returning one of them 78 yards for a touchdown.

“Hopefully this trend continues for us,” Nolan said. “The balls just aren’t falling out on their own. We’ve been able to create them. Guys have knocked them out.”

Cowboys’ Gallimore continues to flash in rookie campaign - Matthew Lenix, Cowboys Wire

Much of the attention for Cowboys rookies this year has centered on CeeDee Lamb, but Neville Gallimore stole a bit of the spotlight on Sunday with his best performance of his young career.

Gallimore finished with a season-high five tackles (one tackle for loss), a pass deflection, and a quarterback hit. This isn’t the first time Gallimore has shown he can be a big-time contributor on the Cowboys defense.

In his second career start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9, he graded out as one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL in terms of run defense grade, run stops, and run stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus.

The Cowboys potentially have a solid four-man rotation set up for 2021 on the interior defensive line with Gallimore, Antwaun Woods, Eli Ankou, and a healthy Trysten Hill. Of course, they’ll still need to address it in free agency and the draft, but that’s a pretty good starting point.

Stephen Jones on Andy Dalton’s future with Cowboys, Tony Pollard’s importance to Dallas and more - Dallas Morning News Staff

Tony Pollard’s two-touchdown performance in his first career start on Sunday in place of the injured Ezekiel Elliott had many fans wondering if it might be time to move on from their star running back in favor of the cheaper Pollard. Stephen Jones hit the brakes on that talk, though, when asked about it on Tuesday.

Could Tony Pollard be a full-time running back?

Jones: “In this day and time, there’s not many that do that. I certainly wouldn’t bet against him. I think when we first drafted him, it was more of a change of pace, complementary guy that was going to be great in the return game and spell Zeke. Certainly surprised every step of the way in terms of the number of times he can touch the ball.

“As I said, I think they’re a great complement to one another. I wouldn’t bet against Tony if he had to touch the ball. I think he ended up touching it 20 times — I think it was 12 rushing, and I forget the exact number, eight to 10 passes he caught. So, whether he can run the ball 21, 22, 25 times a game, I don’t know that, but as I said, I wouldn’t bet against him.”

Dak Prescott outside Dallas? Could it happen, outside fits and draft strategy - The Athletic NFL Staff

Dak Prescott is not under contract with the Cowboys after this season is over, and while all indications are the two sides will work out some sort of deal, it’s always possible that the quarterback could end up elsewhere next year. But what would be the ideal landing spot for the young star?

Mike Sando, NFL writer: Detroit would be an interesting possibility. Send Matthew Stafford home to Texas and let him finish it out with the Cowboys. The Lions would get a young leader to rally around under a new staff — a fresh start.

Lindsay Jones, NFL writer: If the 49ers were to try to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, that’s an intriguing prospect to me.

Bob Sturm, Cowboys writer: I believe the line forms to the left on how many teams would wish to have Prescott in their room. Chicago, San Francisco and Detroit seem all like obvious places, but there are several more that would jump at the rare 27-year-old UFA QB1.

Sheil Kapadia, NFL writer: I think there are a lot of teams that would aggressively pursue Prescott. What about the Patriots? Prescott doesn’t produce a lot of negative plays and has high-level intangibles in terms of leadership and work ethic. He’d be an upgrade over Philip Rivers in Indianapolis. And he’d be a home run in Washington. The Bears and Broncos would make sense if they were able to afford him.