The Dallas Cowboys Fire DC Mike Nolan and Defensive Assistant
Mike Nolan joined Mike McCarthy as one of the coach's first hires on his initial Dallas Cowboys staff. Nolan had been a linebackers coach with the saints for several seasons after failing out as a head coach and defensive coordinator. To nobody's surprise, Nolan will not be returning to Dallas for a second season.
The Dallas Cowboys have confirmed the reports.
I say it's no surprise, but it actually is. The Dallas Cowboys aren't exactly a franchise that has fired coaches for mediocrity and you could argue that Nolan's defense had improved enough by the end of the season that Nolan might be retained. The stats don't like though and the numbers feature some of the worst statistical measures of any team in the franchise’s 60-year history.
The Cowboys have also fired defensive line coach Jim Tomsula who had coached with Nolan and McCarthy in San Francisco while Nolan was a head coach. McCarthy should have learned from Kliff Kingsbury that it's not a good idea to just hire all your friends when your job is on the line.
The Dallas Cowboys finished the season with the 28th ranked scoring defense in the NFL and gave up the most points in franchise history with 473 surrendered. They also ranked 31st in the league against the run and were 11th against the pass in yardage but gave up the third-most passing touchdowns.
Mike McCarthy, who had a ton of issues in his own right, throughout his first run as the Cowboys head coach, said in a press conference that he was still in the process of doing his exit interviews. I guess he's completed at least Nolan's and Tomsula's.
As far as who should be the next defensive coordinator, I have no idea. Can the Cowboys draw a successful coordinator from another franchise like the Ravens or Steelers? Can they find an apprentice that's ready to take the next step? Will they head to the college ranks and get a seasoned DC like Brent Venables from Clemson? I have no idea. Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy have me absolutely stumped on their plan, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.