With the aftermath of a 6-10 season, Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones has been making a complete change in the coaching regime of the Cowboys. With a new defensive coordinator, a new strength and training coach and a new receiving coach amongst other coaching changes, the Dallas Cowboys are getting serious about leadership.
Hiring defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has been one of the best moves in the entire NFL offseason. Ryan will bring exceptional energy and toughness to a defensive unit that was anything but exceptional and tough during the 2010 season.
Ryan, twin brother of outspoken New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, will be the perfect contrast to head coach Jason Garrett. As Garrett will continue to be the Ivy League educated professional (he’s a Princeton grad), while Ryan will be willing and able to play bad cop and get nasty with players. With Garrett’s steady hand keeping the team in check, Ryan’s mouth will keep the fire stoked in the Cowboys camp.
Ryan has plenty of NFL experience to bring credibility. His years in New England, Oakland and Cleveland have set him up for a prime market to exhibit his skills. He has the players like perennial pro bowler and 2010 NFL sacks leader (15.5) DeMarcus Ware as well as a difference maker in Anthony Spencer to use his 3-4 defensive scheme. The opportunities are ripe for Ryan, which will only reflect highly on the Cowboys.
In addition to a strong defensive coordinator, Dallas also reacquired the best strength and conditioning coach on the market, Mike Woicik.
Woicik is back under the management that broke him into the big time and will be one of the most influential coaches to the Cowboys’ locker room. With his reappearance in North Texas, expect the Cowboys to become a more physical and more fit team.
Woicik has the distinct honor of being the only coach in NFL history to be the owner of six Super Bowl rings. The two-time Conditioning Coach of the Year was a keystone in creating two dynasties in two different decades. He is widely regarded as one of the best conditioning coaches to ever grace the NFL.
After a year of tough injuries such as quarterback Tony Romo”s broken collarbone and rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant”s fractured ankle, it’s no question that the Cowboys are in need of someone who knows how to properly condition players. Expect to see fewer injuries and faster recovery times for the 2011-12 Cowboys. Jones made a great call, because there is no other conditioning coach out there that is better than Woicik.
Finally, the Dallas Cowboys continue to improve their coaching regime after hiring Jimmy Robinson, formerly the receivers coach for the reigning world champions, the Green Bay Packers.
It’s yet another fantastic hire by Jones this offseason, because Robinson will be a fantastic coach to help max out the potential of young players like wide receiver Miles Austin and Bryant.
Robinson has been in the NFL for more than two decades. He’s seen every type of player who could give him trouble. From the divas to the troublemakers to the hardworkers, he knows how to deal with them all. Any professionalism complaints that the Cowboys could have about their receivers will be subsided with the hiring of an older, wiser coach who has been coaching since some of his receivers have been in pull-ups.
Beyond experience, Robinson breeds success. He’s coached players such as Andre Rison, Amani Toomer, Ike Hilliard and Joe Horn. He’s also at the prime of his coaching career. Robinson created the three-headed monster that is the Packers’ receiving corps. Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson are all pupils of Robinson who won a pretty meaningful game at Cowboys Stadium recently. Robinson is relevant, successful and will only be better when he gets the talents that the Cowboys will offer.
As the coaching improves in Valley Ranch, expect the Cowboys’ quality of play to improve on the field. Coaching has been a major reason for their recent failures. With these changes, the Cowboys will play as a more refined and a more professional team.
J.D. Moore is a freshman journalism major from Honolulu, Hawaii