Doug Nussmeier

Cowboys Leaning Against Jason Garrett Calling Plays?

With Scott Linehan now out of the picture and a potential first-time offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore the frontrunner to succeed him, Jason Garrett has by far the most experience on the Cowboys’ current staff calling plays.

A recent report indicated the longtime HC was in line to reclaim those responsibilities. Not so fast. The Cowboys like the setup of Garrett serving as the game-day overseer, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It is now expected Garrett will not call plays for the Cowboys in 2019.

The expected offensive-staff hierarchy is Garrett presiding over a team of Moore as OC, Jon Kitna as quarterbacks coach and tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier gaining influence, per Rapoport.

Nussmeier, 48, served as OC for Fresno State, Washington, Alabama, Michigan and Florida from 2009-17 before joining Garrett’s staff last year. Kitna has been a head high school coach since his 16-year playing career ended in 2012. Moore, 30, spent 2018 on Dallas’ staff after retiring following the ’17 season.

It would stand to reason Moore would act as the play-caller, as the assumed OC, but that may not be sorted out just yet. Regardless, it will be interesting to see where the NFC East champions go here given the less experienced staff they plan to assemble to run their 2019 offense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kellen Moore Leading Candidate For Cowboys’ OC Job?

Kellen Moore may well be set for a staggering rise within the coaching profession. The 30-year-old former quarterback-turned-quarterbacks coach spent one season on the Cowboys’ staff and has been linked to the recently available offensive coordinator job.

Moore appears to be the favorite to land the position, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes.

Jerry Jones is eyeing an internal hire to take the job Scott Linehan held, and Moore — whom the organization regards as a “bright football mind” after making a strong impression this season as QBs coach — is receiving heavy consideration for the role, per Davison. Tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier is also a candidate, Jones said.

Regardless of the Cowboys’ hire here, Jason Garrett is expected to call plays next season.

Dak Prescott will play a “significant” part in determining his next OC, Jones said. Jon Kitna, who also backed up Tony Romo for a time prior to Moore’s arrival, is joining Dallas’ staff in a to-be-determined role — one that ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter said would be as the Cowboys’ QBs coach. Moore rising from reserve quarterback to OC within two years would be a Romo-esque leap within a profession. Moore, who made two starts for the 2015 Cowboys, retired as a player in January 2018.

The Cowboys are not expected to make any more outside hires, according to Stephen Jones (via the Dallas Morning News’ Kate Hairopoulos, on Twitter). The current staff’s roles and titles are being discussed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Bears, Ravens, Chargers

The Cowboys made a big splash today, firing longtime offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Speculation immediately began swirling about who Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett would tap to be his replacement, and Jon Machota of Dallas News is out with a list of potential replacements. Machota writes that Cowboys tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier is “the favorite” for the job, and notes that Garrett has spoken highly of the former Alabama and Florida offensive coordinator. He also lists quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore and receivers coach Sanjay Lal as candidates.

If the Cowboys opt not to promote someone from within, they could be interested in Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley and Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell, who played for the Cowboys from 2003 to 2005. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com tweeted that “it’s hard to imagine that Jerry Jones fired Scott Linehan without knowing in advance precisely who the replacement would be,” so it’s possible we hear very soon who it’ll be.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Bears lost defensive backs coach Ed Donatell, who followed Vic Fangio to Denver to become the Broncos’ new defensive coordinator, and now they have a replacement. The team is hiring Deshea Townsend to be their new defensive backs coach, the team announced in a tweet. Townsend spent last year as an assistant DB’s coach with the Giants.
  • Tyrod Taylor could be a candidate to be Lamar Jackson‘s backup with the Ravens next year, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Baltimore will be moving on from Joe Flacco this spring, and Taylor has plenty of connections to the team, who drafted him in the sixth round back in 2011 and gave him his start in the league. Taylor, a free agent this spring after his one year with the Browns ended in him being benched for Baker Mayfield, played for current Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman in Buffalo. Hensley also notes that the team has reached out to Robert Griffin III, who served as the third string quarterback this year behind Jackson and Flacco, about potentially returning in 2019. Both are mobile quarterbacks and could provide continuity in the offense if Jackson were to go down.
  • The Chargers struggled to stop the run all season long and especially in their playoff loss to the Patriots, and Chargers GM Tom Telesco said at his end of year press conference that linebacker will be a priority for them this offseason, according to Sam Fortier of The Athletic. The Chargers suffered a rash of injuries to their linebacking corp this season, with starters Kyzir White, Denzel Perryman, and Jatavis Brown all suffering serious injuries. The Chargers pick 28th in this April’s draft, and very well could target a linebacker with their first pick.

 

Coaching Rumors: Cowboys, Cards, Falcons

The Cowboys are expected to name Doug Nussmeier as tight ends coach, sources tell ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). Nussmeier has a lengthy resume, including stints as the offensive coordinator for Florida, Michigan, and Alabama. The former NFL backup quarterback also served as the Rams’ quarterbacks coach under Scott Linehan, the Cowboys’ current OC.

More from the coaching ranks:

  • The Cardinals announced that they have promoted assistant receivers coach Kevin Garver to WR coach and inside linebackers coach Larry Foote to LB coach. The retention of Garver should be a plus for Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Jurecki of 98.7 FM tweets. The veteran is deliberating whether to play in 2018 or retire and the presence of Garver could push him towards continuing his career.
  • The Falcons announced three additions to their coaching staff: running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, offensive assistant Chad Walker, and assistant special teams coach Mayur Chaudhari. Parmalee served as the Raiders’ running backs coach from 2015-17. While the running game wasn’t always great in Oakland during that time, the Raiders did average 120.1 yards on the ground in 2016, the sixth-most in the league. Parmalee is best known for his days as an NFL running back for the Dolphins and Jets.
  • The Panthers hired former University of Michigan offensive graduate assistant coach Drew Terrell as an offensive quality control coach, per a team announcement. Terrell first made a name for himself as a wide receiver/punt returner at Stanford where he earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 as a returner three times.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Redskins, Cowboys

While the Eagles might not name an offensive coordinator, they have likely found their next quarterbacks coach. Assistant quarterbacks coach Press Taylor is expected to be promoted to the primary role, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Taylor will replace John DeFilippo, who was hired as the Vikings’ new offensive coordinator over the weekend. The 30-year-old Taylor joined Philadelphia under former head coach Chip Kelly, but was kept on staff when Doug Pederson came aboard in 2016. Next season, he’ll work with a rehabbing Carson Wentz and — if he’s not traded — Super Bowl MVP/backup Nick Foles.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Defensive back Su’a Cravens applied for reinstatement on Monday, and the Redskins are expected to meet with the former second-round pick at the combine, reports John Keim of ESPN.com. Cravens, of course, didn’t play in 2017 after “retiring” — and then reversing his decision — before the season began. One talent evaluator tells Keim Washington could likely recoup a third-round pick by trading Cravens — that is, if the versatile defender didn’t come with any off-field questions. Given his saga over the past six months or so, Cravens would likely garner far less than a Day 2 selection.
  • The Cowboys have yet to fill their vacant tight ends coach position, and the club has interviewed two other coaches about the role, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Longtime collegiate offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (who recently took a job with LSU), and Brian Pariani, who has served as a tight ends coach for multiple NFL teams, are both in consideration for the job, per Archer. Dallas also lost one assistant today, as defensive staffer Turner West left the club to join Austin Peay, tweets Archer.
  • Dane Brugler of the Dallas Morning News identified six prospects the Cowboys may want to look into either trading up or down for in the first round of the draft. Atop the list of players to trade up for was Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, whom Brugler believes would require the Cowboys, who hold the 19th overall pick, to move into the top 12 selections. Brugler also pointed to Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley and Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea as trade-up candidates. As for players to trade down for, of note was South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert, who Brugler believes the team could groom as a replacement for Jason Witten.
  • The Giants have several ways to open cap space this offseason and SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano goes over players who could end up being salary-cap cuts. Veterans Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ($8.5MM cap hit in 2018), Brandon Marshall ($6.1MM cap hit), and Janoris Jenkins ($13MM) were the most notable of the potential cuts. Vacchiano also listed Eli Apple, who the team took in the first round of the 2016 draft, as an option to clear cap space. Apple would have a $4.13MM cap hit next season.