The Dallas Cowboys didn’t just change head coaches — they’re revamping the entire staff.
As new HC Mike McCarthy continues to assemble his assistants, the team has opted to move on from incumbent wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal and offensive line coach Marc Colombo, ESPN’s Todd Archer and NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Wednesday.
Lal had been instructing Cowboys wideouts since 2018, after similar stints with the Oakland Raiders (2009-11), New York Jets (2012-14), Buffalo Bills (2015-16), and Indianapolis Colts (2017).
He’s credited with developing Dallas’ star pass-catchers, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, both of whom eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards this season. Gallup, in particular, took a monster step forward in his sophomore campaign, delivering 66 catches for 1,107 yards (16.8 yards per catch) and six touchdowns. Cooper, who arrived from Oakland in 2018, finished eighth in the NFL in 2019 with 1,189 yards and eight TDs on 79 grabs.
“Disappointed he tells me he is proud of what his receivers accomplished this season,” Slater said.
Colombo was a Cowboys tackle from 2005-2010 before spending 2011 with the Miami Dolphins and announcing his retirement in 2012. He transitioned to a coaching career in 2018, when he was hired as Dallas’ assistant OL coach. He was promoted to the full-time job that October when the club fired Paul Alexander.
Arguably the best line in the business, the Cowboys spawned three Pro Bowl blockers this year: left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick, and right guard Zack Martin. The front-five was a key factor in producing the league’s top-ranked offense in total yards, the second-best passing attack, and fifth-ranked ground game.
While it’s unclear who will replace Lal, the Cowboys reportedly are zeroing in on former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin as Colombo’s successor.
“We wanted Mike to pick his staff,” owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday. “We’ve always done that.”
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Cowboys Hire Ex-49ers HC as Defensive Line Coach
When it comes to picking his generals, Mike McCarthy has a definite type: Experienced. Counting McCarthy, the Cowboys now employ three men with head-coaching chops (and another whose father sat in the hot seat) following Wednesday’s hiring of Jim Tomsula, likely as defensive line coach, the team announced.
A ex-coaching journeyman in the now-defunct NFL Europe league, Tomsula’s big break came in 2007, when he was named the San Francisco 49ers’ DL coach, a position he held through 2015. He was selected as the 49ers’ interim HC in 2010, replacing Mike Singletary for the season finale, and elevated to head coach in 2015, succeeding Jim Harbaugh.
Tomsula went one-and-done as San Fran’s head man, fired after the club stumbled to a 5-11 record. He spent the 2016 season out of football before resurfacing in 2017 as the Washington Redskins’ DL coach, where he remained until the Cowboys recently called.
Tomsula, 51, is the latest addition to a Cowboys staff that now features former 49ers HC Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator and John Fassel, son of ex-Giants HC Jim Fassel, as special teams coordinator.
The Cowboys’ official website reported Wednesday that offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who’s mulling an offer from the University of Washington, is “expected to return.”
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