Cowboys name Matt Eberflus pass-game coordinator for defense

INDIANAPOLIS – Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett kept his staff mostly intact after a 4-12 season in 2015, but he is altering the duties of linebackers coach Matt Eberflus.

Eberflus will also be the passing-game coordinator for the defense to help tie up the front seven with the secondary.

“At different parts, times during the day, the linebackers and the secondary guys will meet and again, working on the coverage part of our defense and we thought there was some real value to that and the continuity across positions,” Garrett said. “We like the combination.”

This is a first for the Cowboys. In the past, they have had passing-game coordinators and running-game coordinators on offense.

“Over the last four or five years, you see some teams doing that and really just kind of allows you to focus on that area,” Garrett said. “Teams do it different ways. We thought having Matt Eberflus being the guy who oversees that back end, in regards to the passing game, we thought that would be a good way for our defense to go. It’s been good here over the last couple of weeks.”

Garrett elevated Joe Baker to secondary coach to replace Jerome Henderson, who left to become the Atlanta Falcons passing game coordinator for the defense. Garrett hired Michigan defensive backs coach Greg Jackson to coach the safeties.

“It was a long, deliberate process that we went through to hire an additional guy to the secondary after Jerome left and went to Atlanta,” Garrett said. “We interviewed a number of different guys, a number of different profile of guys and we had a chance to visit with Greg and talk to Greg and talk to people about Greg and we thought he was going to be a great addition for us, and we like the structure we have in place.”

Offensively, Garrett confirmed that Marc Colombo will be the assistant offensive line coach and Steve Loney will be the senior offensive assistant, working with the offensive line and tight ends. Tight ends coach Mike Pope is not with the Cowboys at the combine as he continues to deal with a personal issue. He did not work at the Senior Bowl, either.