NFC Links: Cowboys, Cardinals, Redskins

Newly appointed Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will certainly have his hands full trying to fix a defense that was historically bad in 2013. As Rainer Sabin of The Dallas Morning News writes, the 73-year-old coach will be looking to improve a squad that allowed four 400-yard passing games and ranked dead last in yards allowed.

The last time Marinelli was this high on the coaching hierarchy, he was the head coach of the 0-16 2008 Lions. That isn’t important to his players, who have embraced their coach’s passion for the game.

Football is like a religion to him,” Anthony Spencer said. “You can tell in the way he talks about it. He is like a preacher. He believes in it so much. He believes that if you do the right things on the football field you also become a good person off it.”

Meanwhile, defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford respected his coach’s experience.

He’s Master Splinter,” Crawford said. Definitely.”

Marinelli elaborated on his love for football…

“I believe in everything about it,” he said. “I believe it really helps men. You help people this way. To come out and see men compete for jobs and try to help them be what they want to be, it’s something that is so important. That ability to compete every second of every day — I don’t know if you can ever live without that.”

Let’s see what else is going on in the NFC…

  • The Cardinals will likely hold on to four tight ends, opines’s Josh Weinfuss, but there’s no guarantee that the final spot will go to Rob Housler. The 26-year-old’s play during training camp will determine whether he makes the roster.
  • In regards to the bottom of the Cardinals‘ depth chart at wide receiver, Weinfuss believes that Ted Ginn and John Brown will be the third and fourth receivers, respectively. Walter Powell seems like the favorite for the fifth spot, but Dan Buckner and Brittan Golden are also in the mix.
  • Redskins coach Jay Gruden is preaching discipline, cornerback DeAngelo Hall said (via Tarik El-Bashir of Jay really preaches penalties,” Hall said. “Whether it’s false starts, whether it’s holding on the backend, anything. We have to play mistake-free football. Anytime you can do that in this league, you have a chance to win games.”
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