Sports Outside the Beltway

Cowboys Finalizing Coaching Staff

The Cowboys have officially made Jason Garrett their new offensive coordinator but have kept Tony Sparano, last year’s de facto coordinator, on staff as assistant head coach and signed him to a contract extension. The only remaining offensive vacancy is at quarterbacks coach and former Dallas backup QB (1995-97) and quarterbacks coach (2000-2002) Wade Wilson interviewed today.

The defensive side is a little more complicated, as the Cowboys haven’t given up on trying to pry two coaches from San Diego’s staff.

Phillips is attempting to hire San Diego Chargers secondary coach Brian Stewart and assistant linebackers and quality control coach John Pagano. Phillips was denied permission to officially interview Stewart and Pagano two weeks ago. After Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer was fired on Feb. 12, Phillips decided to make another run them. New Chargers coach Norv Turner said he wants to retain all the current assistant coaches, but Pagano and Stewart are trying to get released from their contracts.

If Stewart is allowed out of his contract, Phillips would hire him as the defensive coordinator in Dallas. Phillips said he likes Cowboys’ secondary coach Todd Bowles, who could become the defensive coordinator. But Stewart’s familiarly with Phillips’ 3-4 defense allows the Cowboys to make a smooth transition from the way ex-Cowboys coach Bill Parcells ran his defense.

I’d likely prefer Stewart to Bowles, too, given that the Dallas D way underperformed its roster talent last year. Still, keeping Bowles hanging on as an “if nobody better comes along” option will certainly go noticed by the players if in fact he winds up getting the job by default.

Tim McMahon thinks the ‘Boys will get Phillips, though, as the Chargers just hired Baylor defensive coordinator Bill Bradley to “work alongside Stewart.” McMahon’s likely right that McMahon has “lot of skins on the wall to be an assistant secondary coach.”

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