The Dallas Cowboys have announced the departures of six assistant coaches.
The club has chosen not to renew the contracts of running backs coach Skip Peete, senior defensive assistant George Edwards, assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett, offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant head coach Rob Davis, and offensive assistant Kyle Valero.
Head coach Mike McCarthy released a statement on Thursday that read,
“We thank these men for their hard work, dedication, and contributions to the Cowboys. Each of them represented our team and organization at a high, professional level with class and commitment to making our team better.”
“These were difficult decisions to make because of the great respect I have for each of them as a coach and person of character, combined with the experiences we’ve all gone through together. This is the hardest part of the business and we wish them nothing but the best.”
The team held a press conference on Thursday afternoon, during which McCarthy elaborated on his decisions.
“You have to look at change, adjustments, and emphasis every year,” he said. “This was something that was in consideration all the way back to last year and has more to do with the structure of the staff than anything else.”
“It doesn’t always stay exactly the same,” he continued. “There’s going to be change. There’s going to be adjustments, and we’ve got a whole bunch of positives to emphasize.”
“The reality is, you don’t get to start where you left off. You have to start all over again. I feel good about where we are. I feel good about our coaches and what we’ve established.”
McCarthy was also asked about the availability of coordinators Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore, who have both been interviewing for head coaching jobs throughout the league.
He emphasized his support for them as future head coaches and the faith he has in his staff but also said,
“All the coaches will be evaluated. My evaluation process is still going on.”
McCarthy later told the media he has no timetable for further coaching decisions.
PARSONS NAMED DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR FINALIST
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons has been named a finalist for the NFL’s AP Defensive Player of the Year.
Parson made 65 tackles this season with 13.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. The 13.5 sacks were the seventh-most in the league, giving him 26.5 in his first two years as a pro.
The Cowboys drafted Parsons out of Penn State with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
He played in 16 games as a rookie, was named first-team All-Pro, made 84 tackles, and had 13 sacks on his way to winning Defensive Rookie of the Year.
He also finished second for the AP Defensive Player of the Year award and appeared on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players list as voted by his peers.
Parsons is one of three finalists, along with San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa and Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones.
Past award winners include Aaron Donald, TJ and JJ Watt, Troy Polamalu, Luke Kuechly, Reggie White, Deion Sanders, and many more.
Defensive end Harvey Martin (1971) is the only Cowboy to previously win the AP Defensive Player of the Year award.
Parsons is the only Dallas player nominated as a finalist for any of the NFL Honors this season.
The AP Defensive Player of the Year and other NFL Awards will be presented at the “NFL Honors” ceremony on February 9.
COORDINATORS CONTINUE INTERVIEWING
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore have been rumored candidates for head coaching positions during the current hiring cycle.
Quinn, in particular, has been in high demand after almost landing the Denver Broncos job last offseason. Denver is one of the teams still highly interested in Quinn, as are the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, according to AZ Central.
Denver may be specifically intrigued by his rumored choice for offensive coordinator, who has previous experience with Russell Wilson.
Moore’s primary suitor this offseason was the Carolina Panthers. Moore interviewed with the team on Tuesday in Charlotte, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Moore stayed in Charlotte to meet with the Panthers again on Wednesday.
However, the Panthers opted to hire Frank Reich as their next head coach over Moore, the team announced Thursday.
POLLARD HAS SURGERY
Running back Tony Pollard is scheduled to have surgery on his broken leg this week, according to the team website. ESPN has reported that he went through a “Tightrope” procedure on Tuesday.
His recovery is expected to take 2-3 months.
IS ZEKE GONE?
The Cowboys can move on from running back Ezekiel Elliott in the offseason.
Elliott signed a six-year, $90 million contract extension in 2019 and is due $10.9 million coming off the worst season of his career.
Zeke told reporters after the Cowboys’ loss to the 49ers on Sunday that he wants to remain in Dallas, and The Dallas Morning News has reported that he is willing to take a pay cut to stay with the team.
Cutting Elliott before June 1 would save $4.86 million in cap space, while waiting until after June 1 would erase his entire $10.9 million cap hit.
Rookie defensive end Sam Williams missed the last four games of the season after being injured in a car accident in late December.
Both Williams and the driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries, and he was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving. Williams turned himself in and posted bail.
The Dallas Morning News is now reporting that Williams was speeding, reaching speeds as high as 98 miles per hour.
The Cowboys’ draft slots for April’s NFL Draft have been determined now that the season is over. Dallas will have the 26th overall pick in the first round, the 58th overall pick in the second round, and the 90th overall pick in the third round, plus selections in the fourth, fifth, and seventh rounds and whatever compensatory picks it receives.
Compensatory picks are given to teams based on the free agents they sign and the free agents they lose to other teams and will be announced after the current season ends.