Like Mike Nolan and Jim Tomsula, Maurice Linguist could be one-and-done with the Dallas Cowboys.
Multiple media reports have intimated that Linguist, the Cowboys’ co-defensive backs coach in 2020, is facing a potential pink slip after the team hired Joe Whitt Jr. as its new secondary coach/passing game coordinator.
According to Bryan Broaddus of Dallas’ official website, Linguist is “hunting a job” following Whitt’s arrival, while it appears fellow DB coach Al Harris is safe from the chopping block.
“With the hiring of Joe Whitt Jr. My gut feeling is that they’re moving on from Maurice Lindquist. Hearing from college sources he’s hunting a job. Al Harris appears to be staying,” Broaddus tweeted Wednesday.
Linguist, formerly of Texas A&M, oversaw an injury-plagued cornerback unit and a largely ineffectual safety group. The collective contributed to Dallas’ 23rd overall ranking in total yards allowed and 28th overall ranking in scoring.
Ironically, the Cowboys placed highest against the pass, surrendering 227.6 air yards per game — 11th-best in the league. The biggest bright spot was rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs, who led the club with three interceptions.
But it did not matter much when the 31st-ranked run defense was ceding 158.8 yards per game, lowlighted by Cleveland’s 307-yard rushing effort in Week 4 and Baltimore’s 294-yard performance in Week 13. The Cowboys gave up the most points (473) in franchise history — 29.6 points per game — blowing past the previous record (436) set in 2010.
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Get Acquainted with Whitt
Long a purported target of head coach Mike McCarthy, he was considered for Dallas’ DC position that went to Nolan. The 42-year-old started as Green Bay’s defensive quality coach in 2008, following one season as Atlanta’s assistant defensive backs coach. Whitt was promoted to the Packers’ cornerbacks coach in 2009 and to pass game coordinator in 2018.
The Cleveland Browns hired Whitt in his current role in 2019 before he took the same job with the Falcons, whose secondary was … not great this season, surrendering a league-worst 293.6 passing yards per game. The unit also ranked 17th in interceptions (12).
Whitt reunites with McCarthy, whom he knew from their time in Green Bay, and new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, whom he worked under in Atlanta. Whitt interviewed for the coordinator gig, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported he “really impressed” owner/general manager Jerry Jones during the meeting.
NFC East Rival Targeting Kellen Moore as HC: Report
Per ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Philadelphia Eagles have requested to interview the wunderkind offensive coordinator for their newly-created head coaching vacancy.
The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore confirmed Archer’s Thursday report, adding that Moore is “drawing a lot of interest this offseason” after coming thisclose to landing the Boise State HC job.
It’s unclear as of this writing whether the Cowboys will decline the request or allow Moore to speak with their bitter NFC East rival. But the 32-year-old, who signed a contract extension with the Cowboys after the season, did admit his interest in graduating from play-caller to shot-caller.
“Yeah, I want to be a head coach,” Moore said earlier this month. “But I think like anything, really I’m focused on this job right now. Again, we’ll go through this process and we’ll see where it’s at.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL