Cowboys to Reunite With Longtime Running Backs Coach: Report

Skip Peete

Getty Skip Peete

Mike McCarthy has tapped a new (old) face to lead the Dallas Cowboys‘ running backs.

According to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, the Cowboys are hiring former Los Angeles Rams RBs coach Skip Peete to serve in the same capacity.

An NFL coaching veteran dating back to 1998, when he landed his first professional job with the Oakland Raiders, Peete had been part of the Rams organization since 2016. He’s credited with developing Todd Gurley into a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. Gurley also earned 2017 Offensive Player of the Year honors under Peete’s tutelage.

Gurley turned in a career-worst season in 2019, compiling 857 yards (3.8 yards per carry), but did score 14 total touchdowns (12 rushing, two receiving). Los Angeles’ collective ground attack — including Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson — ranked 26th in the NFL, having averaged 93.7 yards per game.

This will be Peete’s second stint in Dallas; he was employed as the RBs coach from 2007-2012, overlapping the Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett regimes. He bolted to the Chicago Bears in 2013 to reunite with Marc Trestman, whom he knew from his time in Oakland (1998-2006).

Peete inherits a backfield dominated by Ezekiel Elliott, the sport’s highest-paid player at his position. Dallas finished fifth in rushing offense this season thanks to Zeke’s 1,357 yards, fourth-most in the NFL. They also boast now-sophomore handcuff Tony Pollard, who recorded 455 yards and two TDs on 86 totes (5.3 YPC) during an impressive 2019 rookie year.

Prior to landing Peete, the Cowboys reportedly had been courting Stan Drayton, who coached Elliott at Ohio State, to replace Garrett holdover Gary Brown. The Rams, ironically enough, were competing for Drayton’s services, as well.

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Cowboys Ax High-Ranking Defensive Coach: Report

The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that Cowboys passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach/de facto play-caller Kris Richard, who had a year remaining on his contract, will not return to the club in 2020. The team instead is bringing aboard Texas A&M’s Maurice Linguist as the new secondary coach, per the report.

Under Richard’s watch, the Cowboys finished 10th in pass defense this past season, surrendering 223.5 yards per game. The team recorded only seven interceptions, however, and its secondary defenders accounted for just five picks: two each for safety Xavier Woods and cornerback Jourdan Lewis, and one for CB Chidobe Awuzie.

Richard became expendable following the hiring of McCarthy, who almost immediately recruited Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan as his new defensive coordinator.

Linguist, meanwhile, inherits a talented but severely underachieving Cowboys secondary which might undergo a makeover this offseason, as star cornerback Byron Jones and starting safety Jeff Heath are scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency.

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