Resetting the Cowboys' coaching staff as they start a vacation

FRISCO, Texas -- As the second week of the Dallas Cowboys' offseason begins, the coaches have been given the next two weeks off for a vacation.

Some might never return, either with better opportunities elsewhere or because the Cowboys have chosen to move on.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what we know about the Cowboys' staff:


Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson -- He came to the Cowboys in 2007, the same year as Jason Garrett. He helped develop Tony Romo and Dak Prescott, but was not give much to work with behind the starting quarterback over the years. He was the first real champion of Prescott, having spent time with him at Mississippi State. He has battled some health issues in recent years and could look to retire.

Secondary coach Joe Baker -- He was bumped up into this role in 2016 after spending three seasons as the assistant secondary and safeties coach. By the end of the season, the Cowboys were relying on three rookies, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods, in the cornerback roles. While they developed fine, it was noticed that three secondary players who left via free agency, Brandon Carr, Barry Church and Morris Claiborne, performed much better in their new homes than they did in Dallas.

Special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia -- That the Cowboys allowed him to leave despite being under contract should tell you something. The front office had not allowed others to leave over the years, but Bisaccia is expected to join Jon Gruden with the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys were solid on special teams, especially in coverage, but the return game was not game-changing.

Wide receivers coach Derek Dooley -- He would have been back with the Cowboys in 2018, although maybe in a different role, but he got the title and responsibility he had been looking for as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Missouri. A head coach at Louisiana Tech and Tennessee, success with Missouri could lead him back to that kind of role, which was not likely to happen by remaining with the Cowboys.

Tight ends coach Steve Loney -- He is retiring after a three-year run with the Cowboys, including last season with the tight ends.

So where does Garrett look for replacements?

The first could come from inside The Star.

According to the Sporting News, Kellen Moore is expected to become the quarterbacks coach. That was one of the late-season whispers inside The Star but Scott Linehan’s future was in some question after the offense fell apart in the second half of the season. If Moore becomes the quarterbacks coach, then that speaks to Linehan’s power. He has been Moore’s biggest champion since their days together with the Detroit Lions. He was the one to convince the Cowboys that Moore could be Romo’s backup in 2016 before Moore suffered a broken ankle in training camp.

Keith O’Quinn spent the past four seasons as Bisaccia’s assistant special-teams coach. He has a varied background as a coach and scout. Before moving to special teams, he worked with receivers. Under Garrett, the special-teams coordinator serves as the head coach’s confidante, especially in clock management and end-of-game situations. O’Quinn, who could be in the tight ends mix, has a lot of respect inside The Star.

Miles Austin has spent the past two years around the team in a quasi-coach/scouting role. He could move into the receivers coach role. He is among the Cowboys’ better undrafted free-agent finds, and in eight years with the team, he was named to the Pro Bowl twice, finishing with 301 receptions for 4,481 yards and 34 touchdown catches. Kyle Valero has been the assistant receivers coach since 2014 and is considered Linehan’s right-hand man.

At the end of last week, the future of offensive line coach Frank Pollack was in question, but there has not been any word -- unofficial or otherwise -- as to whether he will be back, although he remains under contract. If Pollack does not return, then another former Cowboy, Marc Colombo, who has been the assistant line coach the past two years, could be in line for a promotion.

Running backs coach Gary Brown also has an expiring contract. Seeing how he has affected DeMarco Murray, Darren McFadden and Ezekiel Elliott, and helped develop Rod Smith, the Cowboys want him to return, but he could have options elsewhere as well, such as Oakland.

Before the season finale, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said he planned to continue coaching, but late last week the Star-Telegram reported he was considering retirement. Would the Cowboys move Marinelli into a different role and elevate linebackers coach Matt Eberflus into the coordinator’s role? Eberflus has an expiring contract and could be a coordinator candidate elsewhere.

So many staff questions except this: Garrett is going nowhere.