Even with their 2017 season falling short of the playoffs at 9-7, the Dallas Cowboys made it known early into their offseason process that Head Coach Jason Garrett, Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan, and Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli would all return in 2018. This hasn’t stopped the Cowboys from reshuffling their staff below these three, filling two more openings today with Keith O’Quinn and Ben Bloom.
Keith O’Quinn will be the Cowboys’ new special teams coordinator, replacing Rich Bisaccia. Ben Bloom will take Matt Eberflus’ previous title of linebackers coach, with Kris Richard already hired to oversee Eberflus’ responsibilities as passing game coordinator.
O’Quinn found himself working closely with Bisaccia in 2014, floating around the coaching staff since 2010 in quality control positions. This promotion from assistant ST coach shows how much the Cowboys respected Rich Bisaccia – prioritizing a coach with experience alongside him. O’Quinn has also worked in various roles with the Cowboys’ offense.
The same can be said about Ben Bloom, who has been on the Cowboys’ coaching staff since 2011. Working with Matt Eberflus on the defensive side of the ball, Bloom was trusted as a “special projects” coach in 2016. In this role, Bloom aided in preparing the team for opponents’ personnel, strategy, and game situations.
With Bloom, the Cowboys also promote a coach that has worked with Dallas’ defensive ends in 2014 and 2015. Still in need of a DL coach, with Rod Marinelli already regarded as one of the best teachers at this position, Ben Bloom is taking on a lot of responsibility in running the linebackers room by himself now.
The Cowboys have praised Jaylon Smith as their future at this position ever since drafting him 34th overall in 2016. Playing a full 16 games in 2017, Smith will be expected to develop his game even further under Bloom now.
Sean Lee is locked in as the Cowboys’ starting WILL linebacker, the leader of a defense that has failed to execute at any level without #50 on the field. Addressing this need for depth at LB should be a priority in the draft and free agency – where Anthony Hitchens is a FA of their own.
With these latest hires of O’Quinn and Bloom, the Dallas Cowboys are now just a TE coach away from filling out their 2018 coaching staff. Marc Colombo is the latest name to interview for the position.