On Cowboys' staff, Matt Eberflus, Scott Linehan deserve first, second look
FRISCO, Texas -- One sign of a strong coaching staff is how many assistant coaches get looks as head coaches.
The 2005 Dallas Cowboys staff put together by Bill Parcells saw eight assistants become head coaches either in the NFL or major college football. Sean Payton won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints, while Todd Haley, Tony Sparano and Mike Zimmer took their teams to the playoffs at least once.
On Wednesday, ESPN Insiders offered up a list of coaches that could be hot names come December when jobs start opening up again. No Cowboys assistants were named, but two coaches with past ties to the Cowboys -- Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and Washington Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan -- were mentioned.
The list was broken up into first-timers and second-chancers.
On the current Cowboys staff, passing game coordinator and linebackers coach Matt Eberflus probably would be the first-timer. He has a blend of experience in the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. Last year he took on greater responsibility as the passing game coordinator, working the sub packages. He has played a big part in the development of Sean Lee as well as mixing and matching a group that has been hit by injury and suspensions over the past few years.
He has received some interest from teams regarding defensive coordinator spots, and with another solid showing could receive more interest going forward.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was not on the second-timers list, which seems unusual because of the production he has shown with a veteran quarterback (Tony Romo) and young quarterbacks (Dak Prescott and, with the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford).
Linehan said earlier in the offseason that he received some interest from teams after the 2016 season, but he instead signed a contract extension with the Cowboys. He went 11-25 in two-plus seasons with the St. Louis Rams, a team that was going through a transition, but if some coaches such as Pat Shurmur, Callahan and Steve Spagnuolo can get mentioned, so should Linehan.