IRVING, Texas – Every offseason has some sort of coaching change and the first one for the Cowboys this year involves the special teams unit.
And it's not Rich Bisaccia, the special teams coordinator who has interviewed for two head coaching jobs already.
But his assistant Chris Boniol, a former Cowboys' place-kicker from 1994-96, said he will not return to the coaching staff for 2014.
On Wednesday, Boniol confirmed the Cowboys will not renew Boniol's contract, which expired last week after he signed a one-year contract to work with Bisaccia before last season. Boniol joined the Cowboys' staff in 2010 when he worked under then-special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.
"It's a mutual agreement," Boniol said Wednesday. "Everything has gone great the last four years. It's just time for me to move on. It's been a good run."
Boniol said he leaves the organization on nothing but good terms. Boniol said he was especially grateful for the way the Cowboys brought him back last offseason when his contract had expired.
"They really, on my behalf, went to bat to keep me around, which I'm extremely grateful for," Boniol said, mentioning Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett. "They've been extremely generous and supportive. Just fantastic to me and my career development. I had a real good talk with Jason … he's a good one."
The Cowboys are coming off another banner season for kicker Dan Bailey, who ended 2013 with 21 straight field goals, including a game-winner against the Giants in late November.
Bailey was 28 of 30 on field goals in 2013, a percentage of .933 that ranked fourth in the NFL. Bailey made six of his seven attempts of 50 yards or more. [embedded_ad]
Bailey also improved his kickoffs in 2013, ranking tied for fourth in the NFL with 52.
Punter Chris Jones ranked 19th in the NFL with a 45.0 yard punting average. His 39.1 yard net average was good for 20th.
"You can ask anyone around the league – both of those guys – Dan and Chris," Boniol said of his two kickers from last year. "You'd have a hard time finding better guys at their position. And you're going to have a hard time finding guys that are that disciplined that have matured athletically and professionally like they have, the last few years. I'm real proud of them. They've really grown into true professionals."
As for Boniol, who owns the Cowboys' record for consecutive field goals made of 27 straight, set in 1996, he said his plan is to continue coaching in the NFL and he's hoping it will be in a similar role, although becoming a special teams coordinator is a personal goal down the road.
"My long-term goal, that's always a possibility," Boniol said of becoming a special teams coach. "However right now, my role that is most important to me is to be an assistant special teams coach in charge of developing young kickers and punters. That's my gift, that's really my best role right now for me as an individual."