IRVING, Texas – Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted at changes this offseason and the first one apparently involves the coaching staff.
Running backs coach Skip Peete will not return to the Cowboys next season. Peete still had another year remaining on his contract but the team has decided to move in another direction.
Peete just finished his sixth year with the Cowboys and 15th in the NFL. He's the first significant change since Jones said things will be "very uncomfortable" around Valley Ranch for the next few weeks.
Since Peete joined the staff, the Cowboys have yet to have a 1,000-yard rusher. In 2009 however, the Cowboys did finish seventh in the NFL in rushing at 131.4 yards per game. And in 2007, Marion Barber rushed for 975 yards and made the Pro Bowl with 10 touchdowns.
This year, the Cowboys rushed for just 1,265 yards, the lowest 16-game total in franchise history. Ironically enough, this season did include a 227-yard outburst against Baltimore, which set a Ravens' opponent record.
The Cowboys ranked 31st in rushing this year, averaging just 79.1 yards per game. The team did have some injuries at the position as DeMarco Murray missed six games with a sprained foot, but still led the team in rushing with 663 yards. Felix Jones battled through his own share of injuries but had 402 yards and three touchdowns.
While the production at running back surely doesn't fall solely on the position coach, it appears the Cowboys are thinking it's time for a change one way or another. And it's likely Peete won't be the only change at running back. Felix Jones is an unrestricted free agent and it's expected he will get the chance to test the market.