If Jason Garrett is named the next head coach of the Cowboys, he obviously will have to decide if he wants to retain assistant coaches. Garrett said Monday that when he was elevated to interim head coach, he discussed who should replace Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator. Paul Pasqualoni got the job and Garrett said that he, not Jones, made the final decision.
That would seem to bode well for Pasqualoni.
The Cowboys’ defense did show improvement under Pasqualoni. In the first eight games with Phillips coaching the defense, the Cowboys gave up 252 points. They gave up 184 with Pasqualoni in charge.
But the main area of improvement was takeaways. Under Phillips, the Cowboys had five interceptions and five fumble recoveries for 10 total. Under Pasqualoni, they had 15 interceptions and five fumble recoveries for 20.
They were twice as effective.
“We’ve talked about the importance of turnovers and that being really the most significant stat in football and how turnovers correlate to scoring points and how scoring points correlates to winning,” Garrett said. “I thought the defense did an outstanding job really getting the ball from the opposing offense, knocking it out and picking up a fumble like happened the other day [against the Eagles] or being awfully good at going and getting the ball and intercepting it. I think that happened throughout our football team.
“I know that certainly helped us offensively score more points and contribute to winning. So that’s an important of it. I think everyone knows we’ve got to get better on defense, just like we’ve got to get better on offense and in the kicking game. So we’ll continue to focus on how we can do that.”
-- Jan Hubbard