There are now two defensive bosses inhabiting one Dallas Cowboys squad.
Edwards is an NFL coaching veteran dating back to 1998, when he broke into the business with, of all teams, the Cowboys. He was the linebackers coach from 1998-2001 before taking a job as the Washington Redskins assistant defensive coordinator/LBs coach in 2002. He was promoted to Redskins DC in 2003.
The 53-year-old has completed various stints since his departure from Washington: Browns LBs coach (2004), Dolphins LBs coach (2005-09), Bills DC (2010-11), Dolphins LBs coach (2012-13), and, most recently, Vikings DC (2014-19).
In 2019, under Edwards’ tutelage, Minnesota finished sixth in points allowed, 13th against the run, 14th in total yards and 15th against the pass. An active unit prone to forcing turnovers, they ranked third in the league in interceptions (17), fourth in pass breakups (98) and forced fumbles (19), and fifth in sacks (48).
The Vikings went 10-6 this season, earning a Wild Card berth partly on the reliability of its stout defense. However, the team dismissed Edwards following their Divisional Round loss to the eventual NFC-champion San Francisco 49ers.
“He was at the end of his contract, so it was kind of a situation where it was probably best,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said on Jan. 13.
While Edwards’ exact title remains unclear, as Mike Nolan has already been tapped as the new DC, he’s expected to work in tandem with recently-hired assistant Scott McCurley, coaching the Cowboys’ linebackers.
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Jones Comments on Revamped Coaching Staff
Out with the old, in with the new. As soon as McCarthy arrived at The Star, he began undoing what was left by his predecessor, Jason Garrett, firing multiple holdovers coaches and inserting his guys.
Placing an over-arching emphasis on experience, McCarthy — accomplished in his own right, having won a Super Bowl in Green Bay — has hired three former head coaches (Nolan, offensive line coach Joe Philbin, and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula) as well as the son (special teams coordinator John Fassel) of an ex-head coach.
This is now McCarthy’s team, just the way he wants it. The Cowboys allowed him to buy the proverbial groceries rather than simply prepare the meal, and the brain trust couldn’t be happier with that decision.
“Very pleased with what he’s put together,” Dallas vice president Stephen Jones said Tuesday at the Senior Bowl, via The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “It seems like we have a lot of experience. Overall, he’s real pleased with how it’s come together.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL