With the official announcement on February 15 that the Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell has been hired as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, all nine vacant head coaching spots are now filled.

Dallas Cowboys coordinators Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn were both interviewed by numerous teams following the season-ending defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs, but both key coaches will be returning for the Cowboys in 2022. 

Currently, only one Cowboys coaching position is in flux. The Cowboys offered a contract extension to wide receiver coach Adam Henry who declined the opportunity and allowed his contract to expire. The team has brought in Robert Prince to fill the vacancy this week. Prince was previously the wide receiver coach for the Houston Texans last season and has coached for five different NFL teams, including the Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, and Atlanta Falcons. 

The New Orleans Saints’ newly-hired head coach Dennis Allen intends to interview Prince for the team’s vacant offensive coordinator position, meaning the Cowboys may still be in search of a position coach should Prince get the job with the Saints. 

The nine newly-hired head coaches in the NFL are Lovie Smith (Houston Texans), Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders), Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins), Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos), Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears), Brian Daboll (New York Giants), and Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints).

Now that the Cowboys organization has a solid idea about who the coaches will be going into 2022, attention will now turn to players. The Cowboys are likely to make several roster moves as they deal with cap space limits. This week, rumors surfaced that the team could be moving on from two of the most well-known players.

Amari Cooper is one of several players with high cap hits next season. Cooper has three years remaining on a $100 million five-year contract and will account for $22 million in cap space in 2022. The contract Cooper signed with the Cowboys gives the team an option to release the receiver this offseason and avoid taking the hit on the cap. 

Cooper’s numbers for 2021 were not stellar. He amassed the fewest receiving yards (865) since his first season with the team (725), but he only played in nine games that season. Cooper was on the field for 15 games in 2021. He missed two games in mid-season with a hamstring injury. His most productive game of 2021 was a 13-reception Week 1 performance, one of only two games the talented receiver recorded over 100 yards during the season. 

“I don’t make those decisions,” Cooper said during a January 16 press interview when asked about his future with the Cowboys. “I honestly don’t know.”

Cooper could be released or asked to restructure his contract to free up space.

In a similar situation, DeMarcus Lawrence will account for $19 million in 2022 and has two seasons remaining on a $105 million contract. The Cowboys will also have an opportunity to move on from the defensive pass rusher this offseason.

Lawrence was a force when available but missed Weeks 2 through 12 after fracturing a bone in his foot during practice. In only seven games, Lawrence totaled 19 tackles, 14 solo tackles, two forced fumbles, and returned an interception for a 40-yard touchdown against Washington in Week 14. 

The rumors were fueled by an interview Vice President Stephen Jones gave during the Senior Bowl on February 2, in which he expressed that the team could make changes at skill positions.

“It’s scheme, it’s getting the receiver the ball, the touches, the targets that he needs. But if you’re gonna pay somebody a lot of money, you want them to be the best at what they do,” Jones said. “Whether that’s catching, whether that’s yards, whether that’s receptions, whether that’s touchdowns. Whether that’s throwing touchdown passes, winning football games, if you’re a quarterback. Whether it’s a running back, if you’re getting your touches and you’re scoring touchdowns, and you’re running for yards, I mean all those things. If you’re a pass rusher, you want to be getting pressure and making plays, all those things relate to how a guy’s paid. And once you pay that player a lot of money, then with that comes high expectations. And they know that, these players know that they compete at the highest levels.”