Why Retaining Rod Marinelli is the Right Thing to Do

The Dallas Cowboys have a great Defensive Coordinator in Rod Marinelli and need to keep him for next season. Photo Courtesy: Bruce Chandler
The Dallas Cowboys have a great Defensive Coordinator in Rod Marinelli and need to keep him for next season. Photo Courtesy: Bruce Chandler

By Alex Al-Kazzaz

Shortly after the end of the Dallas Cowboys’ season, it was announced that nobody in the coaching staff would be fired. I am aware that many Dallas Cowboys fans wanted Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan, and Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli to be shown the door due to all the disappointments on both sides of the ball.

I honestly believe that keeping Rod Marinelli is the right thing to do.

Okay, yes, the Cowboys defense only forced only ten turnovers this past season, but the job of a Defensive Coordinator isn’t exactly to teach a player how to literally intercept a pass or force and recover a fumble. It’s rather to design a strong defensive scheme to combat opposing offenses, that can lead to forcing turnovers. Over the course of the season, Marinelli’s defensive schemes kept the Cowboys in the game, but as I’ve said before, the offense couldn’t get the job done. And, I’ve seen many potential interceptions that were dropped.

Rod Marinelli’s defense allowed the fewest points in the NFC East with a total of 374, and ranked 5th in passing defense, allowing 227 yards per game. But they finished second-to-last in interceptions with only eight, five, of which, were recorded by defensive backs. Besides turnover issues, there was also an issue with tackling, as the Cowboys finished 26th in the NFL in total tackles. We know that the Defensive Coordinator shouldn’t be held responsible if a player misses a tackle, or commits penalties, etc.

The Cowboys defense had to go through this season without their best secondary player, Orlando Scandrick, who tore his ACL shortly before the season started. Sean Lee had a bit of injury bug issues again with concussions as well as a hamstring injury, which ultimately made him miss the final game of the season.

Overall, Rod Marinelli had a very hard time coordinating the defense this season. But that happens. Honestly, if the Cowboys did decide to fire him, it would have been a mistake. No, not because firing a coach that signed a new contract in the previous off-season, but because Rod Marinelli is capable of designing strong defensive schemes. But there were injuries on his defense. And that isn’t his fault. With a perfectly healthy and talented defense, Rod Marinelli’s defense can destroy opposing offenses. So this off-season, he will need to get them focused, in shape and in position to make plays.