Can New Hire Linguist From Texas A&M Bring Out the Best in Cowboys DBs?
FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys have loaded up on experienced and veteran NFL names to work under new head coach Mike McCarthy. But now comes news that the new staff has added a fresh face - though a familiar one to Texas football fans - in Texas A&M cornerbacks coach Maurice Linguist.
Linguist is just 35, but the Mesquite, Texas native is considered a top-notch SEC assistant who has helped the Aggies to recruiting wins, and over the course of his burgeoning career, has coached at other big-time programs, including at Minnesota (where he was the assistant head coach) and Baylor (where he starred as a four-year player, winning the Bears Defensive MVP award as a senior.)
Linguist's hire would seem to be one more indication that Dallas is parting ways with top defensive assistant coach Kris Richard. Media reports suggested he was in line to stay in place under McCarthy but CowboysSI.com reported early last week that that was not the 2020 team's plan.
The marriage of Richard's on-field style and coordinator Rod Marinelli's on-field style ultimately did not work. Both coaches are now out of contract with the Cowboys.
It's not clear what Linguist's specific duties will be. Safeties coach Greg Jackson remains on the Dallas staff, where he's been for four seasons, but has no obvious ties to the new guys in power. (He played at LSU but not while new D-coordinator Mike Nolan was there, and he played for the Niners but missed Nolan again.) Some coaching combination in the secondary needs to work in a way that allows the Cowboys to improve drastically as ballhawks; Dallas has for years been among the NFL's poorest take-away teams.
Linguist can surely help elevate Donovan Wilson, a rookie in 2019 who played for him at A&M. And maybe he can help Dallas make determinations on the value of everyone from Byron Jones (a free agent) to Jourdan Lewis (who didn't fit Richard's "traits'' and therefore was under-used.).