FRISCO, Texas –The Cowboys will soon embark on their annual trip to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., this week. But from the sounds of it, their coaching staff might not be making the trip.
Team executive vice president Stephen Jones appeared on the Hangin' With The Boys podcast on Monday morning, where he said that Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and his coaches will likely remain in Texas to finish filling out the yet-to-be-completed staff for the coming year.
"I don't know how much of our coaching staff is going to be there, obviously, with Jason putting together some new faces," Jones said. "He was trying to get the chemistry together. And then of course, because we have been so focused on our staff, we still have our personnel evaluations to come."
There has been plenty of turnover among the Cowboys' coaching staff in recent weeks, with special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, wide receivers coach Derek Dooley, offensive line coach Frank Pollack, tight ends coach Steve Loney and secondary coach Joe Baker all leaving the staff in recent weeks.
The Cowboys replaced Dooley and Pollack, hiring former Bills assistant Sanjay Lal and former Bengals assistant Paul Alexander to fill their roles. Jones also hinted that the team may be close to hiring a new quarterbacks coach, while also acknowledging that the coaching staff is likely to see more losses.
"Well, we brought in Sanjay Lal, the receivers coach. He's all signed up. And we're real close to getting Kellen Moore penciled in as the quarterbacks coach," Jones said. "And certainly it's in the news that it's pretty likely that we'll lose Flus."
Jones is referring to linebackers coach and passing game coordinator Matt Eberflus, who has been with the Cowboys since 2011. Eberflus is currently out of contract, and he has been strongly linked to several defensive coordinator openings. There has been no official news, but Jones seemed to indicate that Eberflus is in fact heading toward a promotion in the coming weeks.
"You have to respect guys' careers and where they are," he said. "We've got a great defensive coordinator in Rod Marinelli. And if he gets the opportunity to have an unfettered coordinator job, where he really gets to put in his own system, then that's intriguing to men who want to further their careers."
That meshes pretty well with reports from around the NFL, as word surfaced Monday that former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard had interviewed in Dallas. Jones didn't mention Richard by name, but he did allow that the Cowboys are looking to fill that position.
"We wanted Matt back. We would've had him back in a heartbeat. But we also understand what his opportunities are," Jones said. "And so we're interviewing some people for that passing coordinator position. Whether that passing game coordinator will be a defensive backs coach or a linebackers coach, we'll just have to see where his strengths are in terms of where he coaches. Then, we'll fill in after that."
All of that should suffice to say that the Cowboys still have some work to do. There are several more openings to address, and work to do after they've been filled. That explains why the Cowboys' coaches won't be in Mobile this week – though they'll be in place soon, with an eye on beginning evaluations for 2018.
"We decided as an organization to wait until we got the new guys in here," Jones said. "We pretty much have a good feel for what everybody feels about our players who have been around all year. But we wanted the new coaches, the new staff who are going to be a part of Jason's staff going forward, to be a part of our personnel meetings and evaluations."