MOBILE, Ala. – While the focus of this week's Senior Bowl is to evaluate a large crop of available prospects, the Cowboys arrived in Mobile this week with some coaching staff decisions to make.
Head coach Jason Garrett defused speculation on the future of tight ends coach Mike Pope, who is not with the team this week, dealing with a personal matter.
"Mike Pope is our tight ends coach," Garrett said Tuesday morning in between the player weigh-ins and a team meeting with the North squad. "Mike is dealing with some stuff now. But he's our coach."
Pope is still under contract with the team, but this week, Steve Loney will slide over and help with the tight ends during Senior Bowl practice. Loney served as assistant offensive line coach this past season to Frank Pollack. This week, Marc Colombo will assist Pollack with the offensive linemen on the North team.
Garrett also said the Cowboys will interview coaches this week for the vacant secondary coach position. Former defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson left for the Falcons, who named him defensive passing game coordinator on Monday. Henderson's contract will expire this offseason, as will Joe Baker, the assistant secondary coach. Baker will oversee the defensive backs during practice this week, along with some help with Ben Bloom, who works more with the defensive line.
The contracts of Baker and Bloom will expire, but both hopeful to return to the Cowboys next season.
National reports have surfaced that former Miami, Fla. head coach Al Golden is expected to meet with the Cowboys this week about joining the staff in some capacity. Cowboys officials did not specify names but confirmed the team is expected to meet with "a handful of coaches" for a variety of positions.