IRVING, Texas – Despite speculation to the contrary, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he plans for Rod Marinelli to be part of the team's coaching staff in 2015.
"We fully expect for him to come back," Jones said of Marinelli on 105.3 The Fan on Monday. "It certainly would be disappointing if that didn't happen, but we're going to go to work and try to extend his contract or get him a new contract so he'll be a Dallas Cowboy."
Before the Cowboys had even returned from Green Bay on Sunday night, reports started to surface that Marinelli – whose contract with the Cowboys is expiring – would be departing from his post as defensive coordinator. That's hardly a surprising idea, given that Marinelli's longtime friend and colleague, Lovie Smith, is the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jones was quick to point out, however, that the Cowboys have exclusive negotiating rights with all of their coaches for the next three days – which would make contact from every NFL franchises against league rules.
"I can't imagine anybody has a deal right now, because that would be tampering," he said. "We have a three-day window here that we have exclusive negotiating rights with our coaches, so I know no one in this league would ever tamper."
The latter part of that comment was tongue-in-cheek, but Jones followed up on it earnestly.
"I'm grinning, but at the same time I can't imagine a report like that is accurate when I think everybody understands that would be tampering," he said.
Marinelli is one of many Cowboys coaches – including Jason Garrett – who is in need of a new contract. Garrett himself declined to comment on the reports of Marinelli's departure, but he reiterated Jones' stance.
"I know Rod Marinelli has done a fantastic job for us since he's been here. He's done a great job coordinating our defense this year," Garrett said. "We have every intent of keeping Rod Marinelli in his current role as defensive coordinator."