Cowboys hire special teams coach

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
We knew it was coming, but the Dallas Cowboys officially announced Monday that Joe DeCamillis will replace Bruce Read as special teams coach. Read was fired a couple days after the season, and DeCamillis was immediately identified as a top candidate because of his close ties with head coach Wade Phillips. Today was DeCamillis' first day on the job.

DeCamillis, 43, had served on staffs with Phillips in Atlanta and Denver. He has 21 years of coaching experience in the NFL and spent the last couple of seasons with Jacksonville, where his unit led the league in kickoff coverage in 2008.

Opposing teams began at their 24.5 yard line this season. DeCamillis was special teams coach with the Falcons from 1997-2006, and his units had a combined 21 touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns. That's an area in which the Cowboys have struggled for years. And Pacman Jones certainly didn't do anything to change that.

In Read's defense, he lost several key players this season and had to rely on older players. Historically, special teams units haven't performed well under Phillips and some people around the league think he doesn't put enough emphasis on that phase of the game. With DeCamillis, Phillips has someone he's at least familiar with.