The Dallas Cowboys are making staff changes following the season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
Coach Mike McCarthy, whose job is secure per owner Jerry Jones, has decided to part ways with six coaches, including running backs coach Skip Peete, senior defensive assistant/linebacker coach George Edwards, offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett , assistant head coach Rob Davis and quality control analytics coach Kyle Valero.
All were members of McCarthy’s initial staff when he was hired in 2020.
“We thank these men for their hard work, dedication and contributions to the Cowboys. Each of them represented our team and organization at a high, professional level with class and commitment to making our team better,” said McCarthy. “These were difficult decisions to make because of the great respect I have for each of them as a coach and person of character, combined with the experiences we’ve all gone through together. This is the hardest part of the business and we wish them nothing but the best.”
A few other coaches whose contract are expiring at the end of the 2022 season could be let go as well, per source.
Edwards’ departure likely makes defensive passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. the in-house favorite to replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator if he takes a head coaching job.
Quinn is a top candidate with the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.
Peete’s departure doesn’t seem to bode well for the future of running back Ezekiel Elliott. The two have a close relationship through Elliott’s agent Rocky Arceaneux.
It stands to reason they would be keeping Peete if they were going to keep Elliott, who is expected to make $10.9 million in 2023.
The Cowboys will at least ask Elliott to take a pay cut. But the team can save roughly $5 million by releasing him.
Philbin had a long history with McCarthy. He previously served as McCarthy’s offensive coordinator in Green Bay during two different stints, first from 2007-11 and then again in 2018. He rejoined the Packers after two seasons as the assistant head coach/offensive line for the Indianapolis Colts (2016-17) and four seasons as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins (2012-15).
Philbin originally joined the Packers on Feb. 10, 2003 as assistant offensive line coach, and he spent 2004-05 as tight ends/assistant offensive line coach, 2006 as offensive line coach. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in January 2007.
McCarthy is cutting long-standing ties with Davis, a long-time NFL deep snapper (1993-2008) and former player and director of player engagement with the Packers (2008-17).
Lett, a former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman who won three Super Bowl titles and earned two Pro Bowl berths during his 10-year run with the club, had been with the team as an assistant defensive line coach since 2011.
This story was originally published January 25, 2023 7:46 PM.