Cowboys' coaching staff has holes to fill

January, 18, 2018
Jan 18
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsWade Wilson, an early believer in Dak Prescott, has been told he will not return, despite being the Cowboys' longest-tenured assistant.

Since the season ended, Dallas has lost six assistant coaches. Some spots may be accounted for, and others appear open.
AP Photo/Michael ConroySanjay Lal has coached in the NFL since 2007, most recently with the Colts after stops with the Bills, Jets and Raiders.

Veteran coach Sanjay Lal takes over for the departed Derek Dooley with Dallas' wide receivers, a group that's in some transition this offseason.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMike Zimmer, who spent several years with the Cowboys in various coaching roles, had a strong impact on many players there. "He's special to me," said Darren Woodson.

Those who have played under Mike Zimmer share a "tremendous amount of respect" for the Vikings coach and are rooting for him, said Darren Woodson.
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The Cowboys did not want to lose Matt Eberflus, but they were limited by what they could offer him.
Andrew Dieb/Icon SportswireThe Cowboys' offensive line will have a new coach in Paul Alexander, How will each adapt to the other?

In 23 years as the Bengals' offensive line coach, Paul Alexander adapted his schemes and helped a number of 1,000-yard rushers. Good news for Zeke?

Eagles' success yields awards for Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz

January, 16, 2018
Jan 16
AP Photo/Michael PerezCarson Wentz threw for close to 3,300 yards with 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions in 13 games.

The Eagles finished first in the NFC East at 13-3 to take two of the four postseason awards in the division as chosen by our reporters.

Few paid much attention last March when the Minnesota Vikings signed Case Keenum to a one-year contract for $2 million. That move became one of the most pivotal of the 2017 season, which makes this a good time to revisit all the moves that made this season what it was -- and what it continues to be for the surviving teams.

We hereby re-grade every NFL team's 2017 offseason with the benefit of hindsight, using as a reference point the grades league insiders helped shape back in June.

You can read the whole file or quickly find your team by selecting one of the links below:

ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN | CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAC | KC | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | OAK | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

A grades

New Orleans Saints

Re-grade: A+ | Offseason grade: B-

One of the best Saints draft classes in franchise history played a leading role in New Orleans' winning the NFC South and becoming respectable on defense. Draft choices Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk and Marcus Williams became immediate starters, while Alvin Kamara rivaled Lattimore as the biggest star of the bunch.

The Brandin Cooks trade gave New Orleans the pick used for Ramczyk. Veteran additions Ted Ginn Jr., Larry Warford, A.J. Klein, Alex Okafor and Manti Te'o were all valued contributors (Adrian Peterson was not, which is why the Saints traded him).

Even the changes Sean Payton made to his coaching staff seemed to pan out.

AP Photo/Al BehrmanPaul Alexander inherits a talented offensive line in Dallas, but improving pass protection will be key.

Paul Alexander will be tasked with improving the Cowboys' pass protection after taking over as offensive line coach, where he replaces Frank Pollack.
Jamie Squire/Getty Imagesnull

Drew Pearson still gets asked about his own Hail Mary catch more than 42 years later and he knows Stefon Diggs will hear about his for a long time.
Brett Carlsen/Getty ImagesCowboys fans may be frustrated with the success of players such as Telvin Smith in Jacksonville but fail to see that every team passed on him.

It's crazy to view successes from the divisional round as strictly lost Cowboys opportunities, but that's what happens when you miss the playoffs.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsGary Brown has overseen the development of DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing in 2014 and 2016.

Gary Brown also had interest from the Raiders and Texans but opted to remain with the Cowboys, where he has been since 2013.

ESPN's Mike Reiss breaks down the important role the Patriots offensive line must play in their divisional playoff vs. the Titans.

Cowboys Offensive LineTim Heitman/USA TODAY SportsFrank Pollack will not be back as the Cowboys look for a new assistant coach to run their offensive line

FRISCO, Texas -- Offensive line coach Frank Pollack will not be back with the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, as he joined the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday.

It is the sixth change on Jason Garrett's staff since the season ended and perhaps the most significant, because of the resources the Cowboys have put in their offensive line and their desire to be a run-first team.

Paul Alexander, who spent more than 20 years with the Cincinnati Bengals, is interviewing with the Cowboys as Pollack's replacement, according to a source. A source said Tom Cable, who was fired by the Seattle Seahawks and was a college teammate of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, is also a candidate.

Assistant offensive line coach Marc Colombo, who played for the Cowboys from 2005-10, will also be in the mix.

Pollack took over for Bill Callahan after the 2014 season. Dallas was in the top 10 in rushing -- including second in both 2016 and 2017 -- in each of Pollack's three seasons as the line coach.

(Read full post)

Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesThe Cowboys had eight games in which QB Dak Prescott failed to reach 200 yards passing, with six coming in the second half of the season.

Was it the Ezekiel Elliott suspension? WRs and Dak Prescott on different pages? Bad schemes? Whatever the main issue, the Cowboys need to make changes.
AP Photo/James D SmithCowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay has chosen not to interview with the Texans.

Will McClay has chosen not to interview for the Texans' general manager job and remains in his role as VP of player personnel with the Cowboys.