Welcome to Friday! We’re one day away from the beginning of the NFL playoffs and somehow, Jason Garrett is still the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but in title only. According to multiple reports, that will be changing very soon though as the team has reportedly chosen to move on from their longtime coach.
Late last night, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that the Cowboys have moved slowly and with an “abundance of care and respect” for Garrett, who reported to work as usual on Thursday morning. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his son Stephen Jones have reportedly made the decision that Garrett will no longer be part of the organization. Garrett’s contract expires on January 14th.
Earlier in the day, ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggested that former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer would not be the man for the Cowboys. The Jones boys would reportedly be interested in college coaches Lincoln Riley and Matt Rhule, along with a variety of current NFL coaches.
Other Coaching News
The Browns have been very busy since officially firing HC Freddie Kitchens following their Week 17 loss. They’ve been linked with numerous candidates and interviewed former Packers HC Mike McCarthy and current Ravens OC Greg Roman yesterday. The team also is planning on interviewing 49ers DC Robert Saleh over the weekend and is scheduled to meet with Patriots OC Josh McDaniels next Friday. Cleveland has also shown interest in Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, Bills OC Brian Daboll, Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski among others. Former Ohio State HC Urban Meyer has also been linked to the job, though Browns owner Jimmy Haslem suggested the search was focused on “people with NFL coaching experience.”
Patriots OC Josh McDaniels is no stranger to the offseason coaching carousel. After the Patriots lost the bye week with a loss to the Dolphins, that eliminated the opportunity for McDaniels to take part in interviews this week. McDaniels is considered a top candidate with the Panthers and Giants, along with the Browns.
While the Detroit Lions are not expected to make any changes with HC Matt Patricia, they did lose two members of his staff yesterday. Patricia announced DC Paul Pasqualoni and OL coach Jeff Davidson each informed him they were stepping away from their roles to be closer to their families. These losses add to the coaches who were fired earlier in the week, pushing the total to six assistants since the end of Week 17.
Speaking of the Lions, it was announced yesterday that the Detroit coaching staff, along with the Bengals staff, would be coaching in next month’s Senior Bowl.
Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard held his season-ending press conference yesterday and didn’t hold anything back when speaking about some of the team’s more disappointing players.
When asked about QB Jacoby Brissett, Ballard said, “the jury is still out.” He later added, “Right now, I’ll say Jacoby is our starting quarterback.” Ballard also suggested the passing game needed to improve. Brissett began the season well but struggled down the stretch as the Colts lost seven of their last nine games. Brissett finished as the QB23 for the season.
When asked about TE Eric Ebron, who missed much of the season with an ankle injury, Ballard admitted, “We’ll probably move on.” Ebron is set to be a free agent and should have plenty of interest. While he struggled this season, Ebron enjoyed a career-year in 2018, scoring 13 touchdowns. The Colts appear set to roll with veterans Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox.
Finally, Ballard ended any speculation early, reiterating that former QB Andrew Luck has no plans of coming out of retirement. Luck shocked everyone just prior to the start of this season by stepping away from the game, leaving Brissett as the team’s starting quarterback. Ballard said of Luck, “Andrew is retired. I think we all need to accept that.”
Texans WR Kenny Stills (knee) was not listed on the team’s final injury report and is set to play Saturday against the Bills. … That is also the case for DE J.J. Watt (pectoral), who will be returning from the injured reserve list and playing for the first time since October. … Although he has not practiced the past two days, Eagles RB Miles Sanders (ankle) is planning to play Sunday against Seattle. … Patriots WR Julian Edelman is dealing with knee and shoulder injuries and simply hasn’t looked right in weeks. Edelman is questionable for Saturday’s game against Tennessee. Despite his injury woes and label, Edelman will be out there and likely serving as the top option for QB Tom Brady. Edelman claimed he feels better than he has “in the last few weeks.”. … Texans HC Bill O’Brien called WR Will Fuller a game-time decision, but a report from NFL Network suggests Fuller, who is dealing with a groin injury, is a “real long shot” to play against the Bills. … 49ers LB Kwon Alexander, currently on the IR with a pectoral injury, resumed practicing yesterday. That gives the team a three-week window to activate the impact defender, who has been out since Week Nine. … The Titans ruled out WR Adam Humphries (ankle) for Saturday’s tilt. … Eagles TE Zach Ertz (ribs) was limited in practice and has yet to be cleared for contact. He is looking like a long shot to see the field against the Seahawks this weekend. … Packers RB Jamaal Williams (shoulder) returned to practice and is expected to play when the team returns to action following their bye.