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Mailbag: Are The Staff Changes The Cowboys' Major FA Move?


Is it safe to assume the new coaching staff, as well as the new philosophical defensive change, are the Cowboys' major free agency moves? If so, do you feel that these coaches will be a better fit than last season's staff?

Nick: That's a good way of putting it.  And you're right, if you're going to virtually keep the same people, at least change the guys coaching them. It makes sense, since there is certainly no coaching salary cap. As for a better fit, only time will tell. We always get excited about this guy or that guy because he says the right things. But we've seen too many times where it's not the right fit after all. So we'll see how it shakes out. I think this 4-3 scheme will be a good transition. But honestly, more than the scheme and the coaches, staying healthy is the key. If Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff find a way to stay healthy, the scheme won't really matter.

Rowan: It seems that way to begin with. Very few cuts have taken place and very few signings are possible. I still expect to see a couple veterans come in once more extensions are worked out, but it seems like most of the guys on the field last year will still have a place this year. Bringing on one of the most revered defensive line coaches and defensive minds in Rod Marinelli, along with the coordinator he worked for successfully for so many years, appears to be the most notable change. If nothing else, it should help the defensive players get a new perspective to learn from, and I'd expect that could help in the progression of some of the younger starters.

How big of a role will Dwayne Harris have this season?

Nick: Honestly, that is up to Dwayne Harris. If he comes in and has the kind of training camp that we're expecting, then he could easily be the No. 3 receiver and the punt returner. Then again, we've sometimes seen players that have high expectations take a huge step back the next year. Last year, we thought big things from Andre Holmes and it never materialized. We've thought big things from Kevin Ogletree during his second year back in 2010. Personally, I think Harris is a good player who was hurt by the lockout in 2011. He needed a full year of OTAs to learn how to run routes and be a real receiver. He's still progressing but I expect him to be a solid contributor this year.

Rowan:I'd imagine one similar to the role he had last year, but over a full year's time. Remember, he never got a target until midway through the Browns game this year. He [embedded_ad] demonstrated sure-handedness and big play ability. Unless the Cowboys sign someone else or draft someone else in the first few rounds, I'd expect him to be involved early in the passing game and on special teams.

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