After the debacle in Philadelphia to end the season Jerry Jones had promised changes that would help the Cowboys focus on a successful 2009 run; however, the question is, have there been enough changes this offseason? We all remember how Jerry answered whether or not the Cowboys would make coaching changes if the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs.
“The coaches are in place. I’ve said that. How can I be any clearer?” Jones said. “Look, I’ve said that our coaching staff, as far as I’m concerned, is in place. I just want to make the statement rather than answer questions, because your questions imply certain things that I don’t want to imply.
“I’m saying that when I look at where we are coaching staff-wise and when I look at where we are personnel-wise, I see a team that is in place to compete for several years.”
Well, for the most part the coaching staff has stayed in place, and we’re going to find out if the minimal changes will help out.
We all knew Defensive Coordinator, Brian Stewart was going to get canned, he wasn’t calling the defensive calls, and was the clear scapegoat for the defensive meltdowns earlier in the season. Phillips took over the calls and will continue to do so going into the 2009 season. Next to get the boot was Special Teams coach, Bruce Read. Cutting Read was probably the best coaching change the Cowboys did this offseason.
Joe DeCamillis was brought in to replace Read, and this could be the perfect fit for Dallas. DeCamillis has history with Phillips in stops in Denver and Atlanta. DeCamillis fielded solid special teams during his tenure with Jacksonville. Anybody coming in as the new special teamers coach will be an instant upgrade to the horrible units Read put on the field.
What about the other coaches?
Many would say the offensive line took a huge leap backwards under Hudson Houck. The season’s before the offensive line was under command of Tony Sparano, and pretty solid. Last year the line returned back to its old ways with plenty of penalties and just shoddy blocking in the running and passing game. Should Houck have been canned? probably, but his history with Dallas probably saved his hyde for at least one more season. If the line under achieves we’ll see it early on, at which point the non-firing of Houck would be seen as mistake.
Reggie Herring is another coach that fielded a questionable unit last season. Outside of superstar sack master, DeMarcus Ware, the rest of the linebackers were ok. Bradie James may have been a Pro Bowler, but the media spotlight on a sputtering Cowboys team lead to some players getting over looked. The main beef with Herring was the technique and lack of tackling. Many times we saw players bust through half assed tackling, leaving the secondary to make the tackle. There was a lot of yardage gained by missed tackles, nothing more verified this than the horrible game against the Ravens in which McGahee and McClain busted through tackles.
The quarterback coaches don’t get a pass either, Wade Wilson is listed as the Quarterback coach, but he clearly did not corral Romo when he needed to. Wilson and Garrett pretty much let Romo play with his carte blanche decision making and all. Romo, needs someone to keep him in check, the season’s before he had Sparano and Parcells. I’m not saying Wilson or Garrett should have been fired, but during this whole process of doing things different for the 2009 season, this should be one area to get more attention.
We’re about to find out whether or not the few coaching changes are enough to make the team play better. If you feel Phillips taking over the defensive play calling all year and DeCamillis on special teams is enough, then we should be fine. If you don’t then get ready for another interesting year for Cowboys Nation.