Report: Cowboys interview Jason Simmons for defensive coordinator job - Charean Williams, Pro Football Talk
Simmons is one of the latest to interview for the position
Simmons, 44, is Carolina’s defensive pass game coordinator and secondary coach.
Simmons was with Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy in Green Bay. Simmons worked for the Packers from 2011-19, getting his start there as an administrative assistant before working his way up to assistant special teams coach and then secondary coach.
He joined the Panthers before the 2020 season.
The latest on the coaching carousel.
SUNDAY AM: PACKAGE DEAL? A year ago, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was going to hire Joe Whitt as his defensive coordinator before the job ended up going to another McCarthy friend, the now-ousted Mike Nolan.
Joe Whitt Jr. is back in the mix, interviewing this weekend for the vacancy. And maybe one of the most attractive things about him - given his work last year as the “passing-game coordinator’’ for an Atlanta team that finished last in the NFL in pass defense - is who might come along with him.
Sources indicate to CowboysSI.com that while McCarthy does not have a particular connection with former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, Whitt obviously does - as Quinn is the guy who hired Whitt in Atlanta. Further, the idea that McCarthy could get his way with the Whitt hire (which the head coach is pushing for) might be more palatable if Quinn can also come to The Star, say, as the defensive line coach.
If McCarthy gets his way and hires Whitt - no guarantees there yet, as other viable candidates, including present Cowboys advisor George Edwards, also merit discussion) - that increases the likelihood that other McCarthy staffers would keep their jobs. In the event of an Edwards hire, he might push for some staff changes, as would most anyone else brought in from outside.
This “problem” likely won’t be seeing a shift anytime soon:
The biggest impediment to the continued success of the Dallas Cowboys can be boiled down to four words: General Manager Jerry Jones.
Fans of America’s Team just got through another painfully disappointing season. The team finished the year 6-10 and will miss the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The Cowboys’ last ten years can be defined by one word, mediocrity. Since 2010 the organization has only managed to have four seasons with a winning record, three of which have happened in the past four years. However, this word could also be used to reasonably describe the past 25 years for Dallas.
This problem of mediocrity and inconsistency persists through coaching changes, quarterback changes, and personnel changes writ large. The fact that America’s Team, once one of the (rightfully) proudest organizations in American sports has been reduced to a perpetual state of mediocrity is profoundly depressing.
It’s Still Early in the Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Search - John Williams, Inside the Star
Early, however, doesn’t signify a lack of urgency.
While it’s not surprising that McCarthy is looking to coaches he had on his staff with the Green Bay Packers; it is surprising that Whitt’s is the first name to pop up. Whitt was a part of a Falcons defense that surprisingly was worse than the Cowboys. The Falcons allowed the most passing yards, had the sixth-highest yards per attempt allowed, and seventh-worst expected points added through the air in the NFL.
Perhaps it means something that he’s the first name being considered. It didn’t take long for the Cowboys to hire Mike McCarthy after just a couple of interviews in their head coaching search last year. However, Whitt won’t be the only guy they interview for the job or even just one of two guys they interview for the job.
Internally, they have a couple of candidates that McCarthy could look to, such as George Edwards and Scott McCurley.
Tony Romo gets recognized for a big honor.
It turns out the second time was the charm for Tony Romo.
After being nominated for a second time by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback was named to the College Football Hall of Fame’s 2021 class on Sunday. The full 2021 class will be revealed at 11 a.m. CT Monday on ESPN.
“Tomorrow’s going to be the announcement for the class of 2021 for the College Football Hall of Fame,” Nantz said. “You, my friend, are going to be a part of it.”
In 2002, Romo was a First Team All-American and the Walter Payton FCS Player of the Year. His career at Eastern Illinois also included three Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year awards. Romo set numerous school and conference records, including passing yards (8,212) and TDs (85).
George Edwards may be a name to remember.
But the Falcons were 29th in total defense this past season and ranked last in the NFL in pass defense.
Like Whitt Jr., Simmons also spent nine years in Green Bay with McCarthy. This past year in Carolina, the Panthers ranked 18th in total defense and 18th against the pass.
But the Cowboys don’t seem to be finished in the process.
While they’ve interviewed two coaches on teams that didn’t make the playoffs, there are now six other teams that lost games this weekend in the playoffs and four more after next weekend.
Another name to consider is George Edwards, who spent last year on the Cowboys staff as a senior defensive assistant.
Edwards has plenty of experience as a defensive coordinator, most recently in Minnesota where he oversaw the defense for Mike Zimmer’s staff for six years.
Coach Mike McCarthy knows only a championship will do in Dallas.
That work — Prescott’s future, fixing the defense, upgrading the personnel, the No. 10 pick in the 2021 NFL draft — has already begun, but McCarthy said the goal is to win a championship.
“I don’t know why you would be in this business if you couldn’t win a championship,” McCarthy said. “That’s just the way I’ve always approached it. That’s the way I learned from Marty Schottenheimer back in 1993.”
The Cowboys’ Super Bowl drought is now 25 years. They have won four playoff games since then. Having come from Green Bay, which last won a Super Bowl in 1996 before his arrival, McCarthy is fully aware of the organization’s and the fans’ expectations.
“I can just assure you that we’re doing everything the right way. We’re being diligent in our process to be a championship team. And I get the disappointment. This is clearly not the way any of us anticipated the outcome of this season,” McCarthy said. “But I think we have to recognize — and it’s just the facts — this was a uniquely challenging season like hopefully we never experience again.”
Updates: Jerry Says Cooper Nearing Irvin’s Level - Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips & David Helman. DallasCowboys.com
That’s high praise...
It’s hard to give a player more praise than Jerry Jones did for Amari Cooper.
In a recent interview with DallasCowboys.com, the Cowboys’ GM was asked about Cooper’s season in Dallas, which included a career-high in catches with 92, followed by an ankle surgery just a few days later.
“Amari Cooper is one of the most talented players we’ve ever had on the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones said. “He has unlimited potential to go from here to a higher level. I think his surgery is going to allow him to do that. I think all of this is an experience-builder. Michael Irvin told me the single-most thing he did in his career to make him a Hall of Famer, was when he rehabbed through his injury and saw how much football meant to him. More likely than not, some of these negative experiences to injuries or setbacks, can motivate you to be a Hall of Famer. It happened to Michael Irvin.”
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