McCarthy’s latest hire, after securing Mike Nolan as his defensive coordinator, is on the third side of the ball. According to multiple reports, the Cowboys are set to bring aboard John Fassel as special teams coordinator.
The son of former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel, John is defecting from the Los Angeles Rams, where he worked in a similar capacity from 2012-19. He was named the Rams’ interim head coach in 2016 following the firing of Jeff Fisher. He was retained by new HC Sean McVay to continue in his special teams role.
Fassel oversaw a star-studded unit that’s spawned Pro Bowlers such as punter Johnny Hekker, kicker Greg Zuerlein and even long snapper Jake McQuaide. Los Angeles finished among the top-10 in 2018 in special teams rankings, though they experienced a dip this past season, perhaps why McVay was comfortable parting ways (as he did with defensive boss Wade Phillips).
Regardless, those in the Rams building — players and cohorts alike — have raved about Fassel.
“He makes it cool to play special teams. He’s pretty rare,” an unnamed Rams coach told the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken. “He’s different in a good way. …He’s very positive in his whole teaching.”
In Dallas, Fassel will replace incumbent STC Keith O’Quinn, who was regularly criticized in 2019. Among his biggest gaffes was sticking by kicker Brett Maher, who missed 10 field-goal attempts before being cut on Dec. 9.
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Big Detail About McCarthy’s Deal with Cowboys Revealed
The Cowboys grew so impressed with McCarthy during his two-day interview over the weekend that he was granted full autonomy to pick his own groceries.
Appearing Monday on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, FOX Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer, who broke the news of McCarthy’s hiring, reported the former Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl-winning head coach made no concessions on his coaching staff.
In other words, holdovers from the Jason Garrett era will not be forced on McCarthy.
“Nope. Nope. Zero,” Glazer said, via Blogging The Boys. “At first the Cowboys I think were looking at it like ‘We love our offensive coaches, we’d love to do that,’ but at the end they talked to Mike and they all talked through it. And I think they realized ‘You know what we’ve done this in the past, we’ve tried to push certain coaches on others,’ we can’t do it this time. And they pulled off.”
To this point, as of Tuesday night, McCarthy reportedly tabbed Nolan as DC and Fassel as STC, and he’s hoping to retain Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator; Moore is leaning toward staying in Dallas. The team also has expressed interest in Jim Tomsula to coach the defensive line.
After officially announcing the hire on Twitter, the Cowboys are scheduled to introduce McCarthy during a 3 p.m. CT press conference at The Star on Wednesday.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL