FRISCO - Mike Nolan is fired as of Friday, but the Dallas Cowboys didn't wait until Friday to sniff around ideas for his replacement as defensive coordinator.
The Jones family has a keen awareness, for certain, about George Edwards. About Marvin Lewis. And about Dan Quinn. They need to know more - about more people. They need to not allow head coach Mike McCarthy to make the hire unilaterally. And they need to hurry, before the good ones are scooped up elsewhere.
Some names ...
1) George Edwards - The obvious front-runner. He would represent the "change'' the Jones family is suggesting - but he would still be a "McCarthy guy.''
Edwards was a 4-3 guy with the Vikings. I view that as a good thing; there was never any reason for McCarthy/Nolan to try to change the 2020 Cowboys away from what they were already doing.
2) Marvin Lewis - The former Bengals head coach interviewed for the Cowboys job before Nolan got it. That was a "courtesy''; this time around it should be something more.
Lewis was a success in Cincy, with a record of 131-122 over 16 years - until the playoffs, anyway. But before that? Lewis was one of the league’s best defensive coordinators, running the Ravens during their Super Bowl-caliber run in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
He deserves more than a "courtesy'' here.
Oh, and there is a McCarthy tie as well; in the early '90's, they were both on the staff at Pitt.
3) Dan Quinn - I'm not aware of a particular Jones/McCarthy connection. But the Joneses are aware of Quinn's Super Bowl resume.
4) Joe Whitt - Whitt was almost hired to this Dallas staff, ahead of Nolan, but after a decade in Green Bay is now an assistant in Atlanta. McCarthy will push for him ... And what if Whitt can come and bring Quinn with him?
5) Mike Pettine - Mike Pettine is the current D-coordinator with the Packers. McCarthy hired him in Green Bay in 2018.
6) - Scott McCurley - He is Dallas' linebackers coach and is a McCarthy guy with no coordinator experience. But he's in the building. He grew up a McCarthy guy - and a Dom Capers guy, who, we suppose, even at age 70, deserves mention.
If McCurley survives the purge ...
7) Jim Haslett - He's now the linebackers coach with Titans. And yeah, he is an old friend of McCarthy's. How friendly? One of McCarthy's first hires in Dallas was Chase Haslett, Jim's son, who works in quality control at The Star.
8) Matt Patricia - Patricia can do the "multiple'' things McCarthy says he desires. Not sure Patricia is a big McCarthy fan, however.
9) Raheem Morris - Morris is was solid hanging on as Atlanta's interim boss.
10) Wade Phillips - The Rams allowed "Mr. Fix-It'' to hit the street, so this season he's served as a "consultant'' to anyone who will ask - high schools, colleges, you name it. He's a Jones family guy (having been the Dallas head coach, of course) and he runs the 3-4, which McCarthy may favor.
But ... if you believe this is a "young man's game,'' and if you believe that McCarthy is going to have some voice here - I don't know that there is a Phillips/McCarthy connection - this seems a long shot.
11) Jon Heacock - My list is short on college guys because that's not my bag. But his Iowa State reputation for being able to defend the spread concepts of the passing game certainly make his a brain worth picking ... which of course is often what some of these interviews turn out to be.
12) Kris Richard - He got dumped here after last year, and in my view, was criticized unfairly. Richard once was a hot head coach candidate but is out of the game in 2020.
Did he forget everything he learned and taught from his “Legion of Boom” days in Seattle? Of course not.
He obviously isn't a McCarthy pal ... thus the "dumping.'' But this defense could use some of his trademark energy (and I mean in practices and in games).
13) Lovie Smith - He's got his Texas ties, he wants back in the game, and he's Rod Marinelli's best friend. Wait - is that last one a good one?
14) Joe Barry - Rams linebackers coach - and Rod Marinelli's son-in-law.
15) Gus Bradley - Accomplished Chargers coordinator.
16) Aaron Glenn - I'm a Texans ties, Saints secondary coach, interviewed for Jets top job.
17) Winston Moss - A former McCarthy’s assistant head coach with the Packers. Is being a McCarthy pal good enough?