Eagles Attempting to Steal Top Coach from Cowboys: Report

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy

Getty Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy

At first, the Philadelphia Eagles did not succeed in hiring away a Dallas Cowboys coordinator.

So they’re trying again.

According to media reports, the Eagles are interested in interviewing Cowboys special teams boss John Fassel for the same position. As SI’s Mike Fisher notes, Fassel shares representation — agent Bob LaMonte — with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman.

The son of former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel, John defected to Dallas this past offseason 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. Fassel oversaw a star-studded Rams unit that spawned Pro Bowl punters Johnny Hekker, kicker Greg Zuerlein and even long snapper Jake McQuaide. Los Angeles finished among the top-10 in 2018 in special teams rankings.

Fassel replaced former Cowboys STC Keith O’Quinn, a lightning rod of criticism. Among Quinn’s biggest gaffes was sticking by kicker Brett Maher, who missed a whopping 10 field-goal attempts before being cut in December 2019.

Under Fassel’s watch, the Cowboys thrived on the third side of the ball. Maher’s successor, Zuerlein, drilled 34 of 41 FG attempts (82.9%) with a long of 59 yards. He was perfect on tries from 20-29 yards and 30-39 yards, and missed just one attempt from 40-49. He went 33 of 36 on extra points. Perhaps most famously, the duo also debuted the “Watermelon” kick, which enabled Dallas to pull off a 40-39 comeback victory over Atlanta in Week 2.

How The Cowboys "Watermelon Kick" Confused Atlanta in Week 2 | NFL Turning PointHow The Cowboys "Watermelon Kick" Confused Atlanta in Week 2 | NFL Turning Point Subscribe to NFL Films: goo.gl/XJTggL Check out our other channels: NFL Network youtube.com/nflnetwork NFL youtube.com/nfl NFL Rush youtube.com/nflrush #NFL #NFLFilms #Football #AmericanFootball2020-09-24T18:00:06Z

On the punting side, veteran Chris Jones logged a respectable 40.2 yards per boot before undergoing core muscle surgery. He was swapped out for Hunter Niswander, a 2018 undrafted free agent who statistically performed better than Jones, averaging 42.0 net yards on 26 punts, 10 of which were downed inside the 20-yard line.

Collectively, the ST unit ranked seventh in Football Outsiders DVOA and 11th in Rick Gosselin’s annual review. They also placed sixth in estimated special teams points per game.

For multiple reasons, not least of which the potential weakening of their rival, Fassel would be a big get for the Eagles, who have yet to settle on a new head coach after parting with Doug Pederson. Philadelphia is sniffing around multiple HC candidates, even requesting to interview Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, despite Moore recently signing a three-year extension.

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Ex-Cowboys HC ‘Ready And Available’ to Return in 2021

Taking to Twitter on Friday, former Cowboys head man and longtime defensive whiz Wade Phillips divulged his deaf-eared interest in landing a job — any job — with a team — any team — for the 2021 campaign.

“I am ready to retire from retirement! I am ready and available. Let’s win,” Phillips tweeted.

Phillips last coached in 2019 as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator, a position he’d held since 2017. The 73-year-old was forced into an early but unofficial retirement after the Rams opted not to renew his contract last season. This prompted various social media missives regarding his unemployment and offers of his services to prospective suitors, as well as boasts of his professional accomplishments.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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