One day before the Cowboys will travel to Minnesota for Sunday's NFC Divisional playoff game, a few changes are taking place on the coaching staff.
Defensive line coach Todd Grantham, who has been here for two seasons, has accepted the defensive coordinator position at the University of Georgia. However, head coach Wade Phillips said Friday that Grantham will remain with the team until the Cowboys' season is over.
"He'll finish the season with us and then go to Georgia," Phillips said. "It's been great to have Todd. He's contributed a tremendous amount to the defense. I knew that he would be a coordinator pretty quickly, or even a head coach. He's got all of those qualities. But he'll finish up strong here."
But the Cowboys didn't go very long without a replacement. In fact, Phillips said he told Jerry Jones before Thursday's practice that former assistant coach Paul Pasqualoni was available after being fired by the Dolphins earlier this week.
About 15 minutes later, Pasqualoni was back with the Cowboys.
"The great thing about having Jerry as the general manager, I talked to Jerry and told him Paul was out there and boom, it was done," Phillips recalled. "Before practice was over, Paul Pasqualoni had been hired. He is here today and will help us in the transition and will take Todd's place next year."
Pasqualoni, who coached here three seasons as tight ends coach (2005) and linebackers (2006-07), and recently fired by the Dolphins after two years as defensive coordinator, is expected to rejoin the staff as early as this week. Pasqualoni will travel with the team to Minnesota this weekend, helping out in some capacity. Pasqualoni, a head coach at Syracuse for 14 years, joined Bill Parcells' staff, but stayed one more year to coach under Wade Phillips. Pasqualoni was among the several coaches who flocked to Miami to join Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano in Miami.
As for Grantham, he came along in 2008 to coach the defensive line, where he's helped Jay Ratliff to two straight Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro selection this year. "I would like to thank Coach Mark Richt and Damon Evans for the opportunity for myself and my family to be part of the University of Georgia community," Grantham said in an issued statement.
"I'm very excited about being part of a staff that will work tremendously hard to return Georgia football to one of the premier teams in the SEC. To the fans and boosters of the University of Georgia, I understand the passion and standard of excellence expected. I look forward to developing an aggressive, physical, attacking style defense that offenses will not look forward to playing against."