Why is it hard to find a coach for the Cowboys?
A year ago, Dallas was in the midst of a rebuilding process.
The team’s star quarterback, Dak Prescott, was recovering from knee surgery.
But the Cowboys’ offensive line had struggled to hold up, and the team was looking to replace a number of veterans.
They needed a new head coach, so they turned to former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
Marinelli was hired last spring and promptly put the Cowboys in position to make the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons.
He quickly won the job, and he quickly put the team on his “top 10 list.”
He then brought in former Giants coach Tom Coughlin and his former defensive coordinator, Joe Barry, as defensive coordinators.
With the Cowboys currently sitting at 8-8 and one game back of the NFC East, it appears Marinelli and Coughlins job is safe for now.
But with so many factors in play, there are a number who are concerned.
There are issues with Marinelli, especially after he lost his starting job with the Giants.
His defense allowed the fifth-most points in the NFL last year, and while the Giants have improved, Marinelli has had a mixed record.
That included a 6-10 finish in his first season.
So what are some of the issues with the Cowboys head coach?
Marinelli had a rocky start to his coaching career.
The Cowboys hired him in 2015 as the defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, but he wasn’t able to replicate the success the Bengals had in their first two seasons.
The Bengals went 3-13 the year he arrived, including a 0-16 start.
Marinells defense ranked last in the league in yards per play allowed per game in 2016.
So when the Cowboys hired Coughls, the defensive unit had improved, and his defense ranked first in the NFC South in yards allowed per play.
Marinello went 3–11 in his second season, and after his 1–1 start, the Cowboys ranked 10th in the AFC South.
In 2016, Marinell started the final six games of the season with a 1–4 record, but went 5–0 in those games.
The defensive unit was just awful in the games where they played, allowing 31 points per game, second worst in the division.
This was partly because of the mistakes Marinelli made.
The offense averaged 29.5 points per contest, third in the conference.
The defense allowed 30.5, and only seven teams had a worse DVOA against them than the Cowboys.
However, Marinello didn’t play well against the Bengals, going 0–5 against them.
The coaching staff in 2017, after Coughles first season in Dallas, did an excellent job of upgrading the defense and getting the offense to play better.
But Marinelli’s defense struggled to get into the end zone and the offense struggled to put points on the board.
The offensive line was still not good enough to win games.
After the 2016 season, Marinella was fired.
The Dallas Cowboys finished the year at 8–8, but their defense was not nearly as bad as it was in 2015.
The 2017 Cowboys have had one of the worst defenses in the entire NFL, and they had one bad performance that could have easily cost them the championship.
If the Cowboys want to make it back to the playoffs, they’ll need to make one more improvement, and this is one of them.