Dallas Cowboys: Expect wholesale changes in defensive personnel

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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dallas cowboys
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys defensive personnel will look considerably different next season

All indications are the Dallas Cowboys are preparing to move on from coach Mike Nolan. After a historically bad first year as the defensive coordinator, the Cowboys are ready to admit their mistakes and retool for next year.

Fans shouldn’t just expect to see a different coaching staff on defense, they should expect to see a different scheme and different personnel as well. For a team expecting to compete for a Super Bowl next season, wholesale changes aren’t just desired – they’re required.

What are some of those changes we can expect to see next season? We’ll dive into them today…

Dallas Cowboys Coaching Staff and Scheme

If Mike Nolan really does get the axe like we expect, it’s likely the Dallas Cowboys will look externally to fill the post. As such, everyone’s job is at risk to some degree. Should we expect a complete reshuffling of the deck?

No. This is still a fairly star studded coaching staff and this season looked to be an outlier for many of these veteran coaches. Guys like Jim Tomsula, Maurice Linguist, Leon Lett, and George Edwards all have histories of success that should save their jobs (Nolan, on the other hand, has a long track record of poor defenses that support his dismissal).

At the end of the day it will probably come down to who is brought in as the new coordinator and what scheme he intends to run. We shouldn’t expect any bold changes since “too much, too soon” was essentially cited as the reason this Dallas defense has regressed so much this season. Chances are the Cowboys will opt for a conservative approach in scheme, and a return to a fulltime 4-3 defense.

Last week we identified a few possible options at DC next season – a list that includes a rising young talent from New England named Stephen Belichick (3 Defensive Coordinator Candidates for the Cowboys).

The failures on defense have been across the board, and no one on the current staff demands an elevation. But if one guy makes sense it’s probably George Edwards. Based on his past record, Edwards is safe coach who leans on some familiar schemes. In his six seasons in Minnesota, only once did his defense finish outside the top-10 (finished 11th in his first year with the Vikings).

However this plays out, don’t expect monumental changes on the defensive staff.

Changes to personnel…