Dallas is set to interview Panthers running backs coach Jeff Nixon for the OC position, reports Joe Person of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 48-year-old began his NFL coaching career with the Eagles in 2007, spending time there as an assistant on both offense and special teams. That led him to the Dolphins, where he took on the familiar role of exclusively coaching running backs.
Nixon spent four years in Miami, then one in San Francisco before working alongside Matt Rhule at Baylor. He joined the latter in Carolina upon his hire in 2020, and has been with the Panthers since. Nixon has once again been primarily working with the team’s running backs, but he also took over the interim OC role in 2021 following the dismissal of Joe Brady. In 2022, Nixon maintained senior offensive assistant as part of his title.
This past season saw the Panthers’ ground game lose its most potent weapon after Christian McCaffrey was traded to the 49ers midseason. In spite of that, the team still finished 10th in the league in rushing, averaging 130 yards per game on the ground. That element of their offense – driven by D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard following the McCaffrey deal – helped keep Carolina in the hunt for a playoff spot deep into the season despite their disastrous start under Rhule.
Nixon (who also interviewed for OC vacancies with the Jaguars and Raiders last offseason) is also a candidate to remain on staff in Carolina under new head coach Frank Reich. Should he depart, though, he could take on a sizeable role in a Cowboys offense which impressed in the regular season but fell short in the playoffs during Moore’s tenure. Dallas’ hire to fill the vacancy will not call plays, though, as head coach Mike McCarthy is reportedly set to assume those duties.
Another, internal, option for the Cowboys to consider is Brian Schottenheimer. The veteran staffer has OC experience with the Jets, Rams and Seahawks and served as a consultant in Dallas this past season. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer names the 49-year-old as a candidate to watch as the Cowboys’ search for Moore’s replacement starts to take shape in the coming days.